Reconciliation and forgiveness
Reconciliation is a complex peacebuilding process both conceptually and in practice. Distinct from but complementary to state-led transitional justice mechanisms, scholars and practitioners have identified several core components of reconciliation process, including acknowledgement, apology, reparation, forgiveness, etc. This chapter focuses on the role of education in building societies open to the possibility of reconciliation and forgiveness. The authors assert that “Human political and social systems will continue to be dominated by the principle of “power politics” (win-lose framework) until values and practices of reconciliation and forgiveness become an integral part of these systems. Teachers are key in this vision to transform social and political systems and how they deal with conflict and violence. Drawing on cases from the Arab Middle East, the chapter compares across country contexts to determine similarities and differences in teachers’ willingness to teach reconciliation and forgiveness. The cases highlight the necessity of considering culture and religion when designing international conflict management interventions as well as the value of integrating such skills into educational curricula.