Reconciliation and Forgiveness LO30657

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/06/03

Replying to LO30608 --

Dear Organlearners,

Sabine Amend <> wrote:

>I would also suggest that magnanimity and the grace to forgive
>may not be the strongest features of "White" cultures with a
>success pattern that is based on competition and taking. Maybe
>we can learn a lot from other cultures on reconciliation and

Greetings dear Sabine,

I am very fond of reading the history of particular regions and nations.
It helps me to understand irreversible self-organisation on a macro-social
level. Unfortunately such documents are not plenty and most of them has
Europe ("white cultures") as their context.

However, what surprised me time and again of such documents is that the
animosity within an European nation and between nations can keep on for
many centuries. So what you have suggested may be very likely be true for
a very long time. But i think it is not true from the beginning. The
history of the Nieder Sachsers (Low Saxons) before their subjection by
Charlemagne to his empire showed me the other side of the coin. (The Low
Saxons were the last European nation to be forcefully "christianised".)

The more i delve into the ancient history of the Middle East countries
like Persia (Chaldea) and Palestine, the more i get the suspicion that
this lack of reconciliation and forgiveness originated from them and hence
flowed over into Europe when the Roman empire took over from the
Macedonian empire of Alexander the Great.

This makes the teachings of Jesus Christ so more extraodinary for his
context (time and place). He was really a square peg in a round hole for
Jews, Greeks, Arabs and Romans.

I am also deeply aware of the difference between South Africa and the
Middle East. The conflict between "white culture" and "black culture" in
South Africa is almost four centuries old. The conflict between present
Israeli culture and Palestinian culture is almost four millennia old. Thus
the process of reconciliation and forgiveness has to reach ten times
deeper into the past for the Middle East than for South Africa. This makes
it a formidable task in which political opportunism should be avoided at
all costs. Unfortunately, too many Western politicians want the
opportunistic honour for bringing lasting peace to the Middle East. For
Nelson Mandella it was different -- let live rather than let die any more.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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