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Memory Serving Reconciliation

So how does the future non-remembrance of wrongs suffered inform the way in which we live in the here and now? By showing how reconciliation reaches completion: a wrongdoing is both condemned and forgiven; the wrongdoer’s guilt is canceled; through the gift of non-remembrance, the wrongdoer is transposed to a state untainted by the wrongdoing; and bound in a communion of love, both the wronged and the wrongdoer rejoice in their renewed relationship. In the here and now this rarely happens—and for the most part should not happen. In a world marred by evil, the memory of wrongdoing is needed mainly as an instrument of justice and as s shield against injustice. Yet every act of reconciliation, incomplete as it mostly is in this world, stretches itself toward completion in that world of love. Similarly, remembering wrongdoing now lives in the hope of its own superfluity then. Even more, only those willing to let the memory of wrongdoing slip ultimately out of their minds will be able to remember wrongdoing rightly now. For we remember wrongs rightly when memory serves reconciliation.

Miroslav Volf, The End of Memory

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