Original Research

Reconstructing communities and individuals after conflict and violence: An avant-garde quest for a forgiveness process that includes koinonia and diakonia

Rudy A. Denton
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 2 | a2724 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i2.2724 | © 2021 Rudy A. Denton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 February 2021 | Published: 20 July 2021

About the author(s)

Rudy A. Denton, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the SA Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Overwhelming feelings of resentment and revenge by individuals in emotionally wounded and traumatised communities inflicted by injustice, violence and oppressive systems, often become a way of life, and people seldom deal with forgiveness in their healing process. Too often, the story of traumatic experiences surfaces as an indication of societies struggling to achieve lasting peace. This article explored a process of spiritual healing and life fulfilment that relates to a forgiveness process which includes koinonia and diakonia as indispensable elements on the road to reconstructing communities and individuals following conflict and violence. The point of departure in this article was taken from scriptural and academic literature to provide a forgiveness process to contain revenge and violence without resorting to it, and to protect individuals, communities and the social order within larger systems in society. The imperative to forgive could raise a persistent attitude and a way of life to encourage communities’ and individuals’ resilience.

Contribution: The article offers an avant-garde quest for a forgiveness process that includes koinonia and diakonia as indispensable elements on the road to reconstructing communities and individuals following conflict and violence.


Keywords

communities; individuals; conflict; violence; forgiveness; koinonia; diakonia.

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