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The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World
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The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Can one forget atrocities? Should one forgive abusers? Ought we not hope for the final reconciliation of all the wronged and all wrongdoers alike, even if it means spending eternity with perpetrators of evil? We live in an age when it is generally accepted that past wrongs - genocides, terrorist attacks, bald personal injustices - should be constantly remembered. But Miros ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published November 9th 2006 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
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Dianna P.
I don't remember any other book rocking my world like this one did. A complete paradigm shift occurred for me because of it.
Miroslav Volf sets his sights on the command to love one's enemies, the sternest test of Christian obedience, in The End of Memory. Volf skillfully weaves a personal story onto a scholarly study once again as he did in Exclusion and Embrace. The basis of his take on loving one's enemies for the purposes of this book is his experience of being unjustly interrogated and branded as a subversive rebel by the Yugoslavian military. As Volf works his way through the problem of reconciliation with the e ...more
James Korsmo
Miroslav Volf is an evangelical theologian and professor at Yale Divinity School. He also grew up in the former Yugoslavia and its communist rule. And it is precisely his experiences in Yugoslavia during his year of mandatory military service that provide the focus for this book, a sustained reflection on the meaning of memory and grace with regard to wrongs committed against us.

Volf sets up his reflections by recounting his memory of the sustained interrogations to which he was subjected by "Ca
Joseph Sverker
Volf has the ability to write from within a rather evangelical stand point yet be extra ordinarily provoking against cherished beliefs. If someone really shows the scandal of the cross and how extreme the consequences are of the forgiveness God has given through Christ it is Volf. He takes his own life as a starting point which bring credibility to this work and then shows how wrongdoings should be non-remembred. I particularly like his thoughts on the world to come as like being wrapped complet ...more
"Seekers of truth, as distinct from alleged possessors of truth, will employ "double vision" - they will give others the benefit of the doubt, they will inhabit imaginatively the world of others, and they will endeavor to view events in question from the perspective of others, not just their own. "(p57-Ch 3 Speaking Truth Practicing Grace)."

Excellent Book; Timely. Realistic in its theology and praxis.

From Amazon:

Can one forget atrocities? Should one forgive abusers? Ought we not hope for the fin
Een verrassende en inspirerende kijk op hoe om te gaan met herinneren. Dit specifiek toegespitst op misdaden die je zijn aangedaan. Is 'altijd' blijven herinneren het beste in het verwerkingsproces? De kans dat hierbij door gebrekkige herinnering een vertekend beeld gecreëerd wordt en/of gehandhaafd blijft is een reëel gevaar. Daarmee kan het altijd blijven herinneren juist een drempel worden voor het verwerken van zulke ervaringen. Zijn er andere opties? Vanuit een christelijk standpunt schetst ...more
Amy Ivey
I highly recommend this book. We have all been wronged by others, and we have all wronged others. We live in a fallen world where sin and its effects are realities. Remembering wrongs and the resultant hurts and wounds to our souls are natural consequences which can engulf us if not addressed. "As Christians, we have no option when it comes to reconciling, since failing to reconcile with fellow human beings for whom Christ died to reconcile them to God and to each other is to reject God's work o ...more
Dwight Davis
This is a brilliant work of psychological theology. Volf argues for a correct remembering of wrongs done to us in order that we may enact what he calls "non-remembrance." Volf builds this theory on his own experience of interrogation in Yugoslavia and the wrongs done to him by Captain G. The book ends in a beautiful imagined reconciliation with his interrogator. Volf also engages with the work of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Freud on the necessity of forgetting and shows how the logic of forgetfu ...more
Dec 01, 2010 Karen is currently reading it
This is a book everyone should read. Volf writes about how we deal with the wrongs committed not just against us but against humanity (the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, etc). His basic thesis is that evil lives when a wrong is perpetrated against us. That evil would die with that act if we would let it, but we don't. We allow it to live on in us either in the form of self-loathing (how could I let this happen to me?) or in the form of vengeance or both. But since it isn't wise to forget our own ...more
A moving book, at many points. I don't want to say too much about his theological perspective--it irritates me sometimes. However, he is very apt in describing all the possible ways in which we refuse to judge others, and ourselves, rightly. Very good on the complexities of memory, and a very moving personal story too.
Samuel Garcia
It was a bit slow and repetitive to start but then turned into an astounding and profound meditation on the ethics of memory. Volf paints a wonderful portrait of the world to come and how that affects relationships now.
Jul 22, 2012 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: Rabbi Alan Brill
I really should not have taken a 2 month break while reading this book. However, I think I needed to digest and apply what I had read up to that time. Memory is such an amazing concept to me, and the more I think about it, the more I understand we need it to relate to EVERYTHING: ourselves, community, God, the past, the present, the future. Yet at the same time, it's so notoriously unreliable. I wrote a little more about it here at the Wheelhouse Review:

A challenging read, compelling vision of Christianity.
A very challenging read. Difficult for me, but worth it.
Jul 28, 2007 Kent rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone seriously interested in redeeming the memory.
An absolute must read for the serious student of human transformation.

Every new creation in Christ must deal with memory. Positive memories may blind one to the great opportunities of today and tomorrow and negative memories may paralyze the soul in the past.

When I meet a person in heaven, from whom I have received much pain, will I remember the situation, the pain, and the person?

In brief, Volf makes it clear that in a world of perfect and complete love, one may remember but the memory simply w
How we remember justly and mercifully and truthfully matters. Miroslav Volf examines and questions some of our larger culturally cherished notions of what is just, merciful, and truthful in remembering. Whether you agree in whole or in part will be partly theological, partly personal, and partly whether you agree with his reasoning. An interesting addition to the works on ethics and memory, and a text with which to dialogue, particularly with other works on ethics and memory from other religious ...more
Luke H
It was an ok thought experiment mostly--it's the first Volf I've read and I don't know if he's usually this exhaustive or not. I had a hard time being deeply interested in it though. There were some good points throughout though. It could probably have been 75 pages shorter.
Challenging book about the complexity of true forgiveness and the journey towards ‘not bringing to mind’, written by a man who had undergone intense interrogation in Yugoslavia.
A most unique book exploring the much neglected realm of forgiveness, memories and future reconciliation as grounded in the work of Christ.
Aug 11, 2010 Milton added it
I am going to finish Embrace and Exclusion first and then read this one. I am hung up on Miroslav Volf right now.
Excellent discussion on the Christian response to suffering.
Steve Netniss
The best book I've ever come across about forgiveness.
An amazing blend of theology and psychology.
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Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the founding director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. “One of the most celebrated theologians of our time,” (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury), Volf is a leading expert on religion and conflict. His recent books include Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities, ...more
More about Miroslav Volf...
Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace Allah: A Christian Response A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

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