In recent times, terms such as ‘reconciliation’ and ‘peace’ have become more and more common in the midst of the mass media, public opinion, and politicians, among others, which has led to the ‘trivialisation’ and ‘utilisation’ of these terms without major study or care about the complexity of the meanings they have. They have become a ‘fashion’ to address the possibilities that Colombia is seeing in terms of the so-called ‘peace dialogues’ between the government and the guerrilla group FARC.
Even though these categories have clearly theological and Christian roots –repentance and forgiveness are also examples of this phenomenon of trivialisation and utilisation- they seem now confined to the political and juridical spheres, and the faith communities, churches and theologians seem to have adapted to this change, without highlighting or stressing the possible contributions that from a faith/ethical perspective can be made.
Today, speaking of repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace seems to be more to be taking about juridical topics (there have been even attempts to create a law on reconciliation!) than ethical and faith topics. Nevertheless, in the midst of the diversity of interpretations and approaches that exist on reconciliation, and in the midst of the current context of ‘dialogues’ in Colombia, the phenomenon of reconciliation acquires more relevance than ever.
Thus, it becomes more and more important to seek and establish possible ways in which these topics can be addressed and what contributions can be made from a faith/ethical perspective, in order to regain and stress the richness and complexity that reconciliation and peace have and their importance today. This will help reaffirming the role that faith communities and churches have in terms of human reconciliation and the processes of advocating and witnessing as the Body of Christ in the world.