Reflections on Atonement
Publication Date: January 2011
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"Nothing will help us survive the present age more than breaking the tragic cycles of violence and revenge that threaten our very existence. To do so, we must honor our soul's desire for deeper forms of reconciliation, a process that Phil Cousineau reveals here as being on the other side of forgiveness, in the ancient ritual of atonement. His book is a profoundly important contribution to the healing of the world, and I give it my blessing." --Robert A. Johnson, author of "Transformation," "Inner Work" and "Owning Your Own Shadow"
As indispensable as forgiveness has been to the healing process throughout history, there is another equally profound action that is needed for ultimate reconciliation, which Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, calls "the other side of the coin." Turning over the coin of forgiveness, we discover "atonement," the half-hidden, much-overlooked other half of the reconciliation process.
"Beyond Forgiveness" shows how acts of atonement--making amends, providing restitution, restoring balance--can relieve us of the pain of the past and give us a hopeful future. This rich and powerful book includes 15 thoughtful contributions by high-profile thinkers and activists including Huston Smith, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Azim Khamisa, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jacob Needleman, Michael Nagler, Diane Hennacy Powell, James O'Dea, Arun Gandhi, Kate Dahlstedt, Ed Tick, Richard J. Meyer, Rev. Heng Sure, Douglas George-Kanentiio and Katharine Dever. Atonement is put forward as a process that we must all learn to practice--from individuals to nations--if we are to heal our wounds and move forward.
Huston Smith is internationally known and revered as the premier teacher of world religions. He is the focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers and has taught at Washington University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and the University of California at Berkeley. The recipient of twelve honorary degrees, Smith's fifteen books include his bestselling The World's Religions, Why Religion Matters, and his autobiography, Tales of Wonder.