Restorative Justice and Models of Reconciliation


Course Objective

- The student summarizes the different theoretical approaches (and their
theological and ethical foundations) to restorative and transitional
justice as possible ways toward reconciliation.
- The student knows practical examples – from individual to community
societal level (victim-offender reconciliation, family-circles, truth-
and reconciliation commissions, etc.).
- The student applies his/her
knowledge by contributing to the ongoing discussion in the field on the
related topics.
- The student knows the complexities and obstacles to reconciliation –
different levels of relations as they are described in literature and
academic publications. The student can explain what the opportunities
are, as well as the limits of processes of and towards reconciliation
and the “healing of memories”.
- The student describes strategies to apply the knowledge and insights
reconciliation in new or unknown circumstances in a wider context.
- The student demonstrates integration of knowledge by presenting an
plan towards a solution in a conflict case study.The student is able to
formulate judgments on the basis of the given information, taking into
account the societal and ethical responsibilities involved.
- The student is able to communicate conclusions growing out of the
knowledge, motives and arguments to a public of non-theologians by means
of an oral presentation.
- The student demonstrates the ability to argue for and against
approaches and practical models towards reconciliation and their
respective implications in group-discussions in class.
- The student will be able to perform independent and autonomous
follow-up studies which result in a paper on a chosen topic relating to

Course Content

In classes theories of justice will be introduced and explained
(especially restorative and transitional justice). It will be explained
how different theories of justice mirror different (theological)
Approaches mentioned above will be applied to case studies. Special
attention will be given to the “healing of memories” as an integral part
of restorative justice.
Models of reconciliation (individual, community, society – level) will
be discussed in class. Possibilities and limits of models of
reconciliation will be analysed and discussed on basis of practical
examples and case studies.

Teaching Methods

Seminar-style, presentations, group-discussions, reading-reports.

Method of Assessment

Presentations (20%)
Active participation in class (10%)
Paper (70%)


Mandatory Reading:
Elaine Enns, Ched Myers. Ambassadors of Reconciliation Vol. II: New
Testament Reflections on Restorative Justice and Peacemaking. New
York/NY: Maryknoll 2009
Howard Zehr. Changing Lenses. A New Focus for Crime and Justice.
Scottdale/PA: Herald Press 1990/1994/2005.
Jarem Sawatzky. Justpeace Ethics: A Guide to Restorative Justice and
Peacebuilding. Eugene: Cascade Books 2008.

Recommended Reading:
John De Gruchy. Reconciliation: Restoring Justice. London: SCM Press
Michael L. Hadley (ed.). The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice
(SUNY Series in Religious Studies). Albany: New York University Press
John Paul Lederach. The Journey Toward Reconciliation. Scottdale/Pa:
Herald Press 1999.
Christopher D. Marshall. The Little Book of Biblical Justice.
Intercourse, PA: Good Books 2005.
Tony F. Marshall. Restorative Justice: An Overview. London: Home Office,
Information & Publication Group 1999.

Target Audience

This course is part of the three-year master in Theology, and can be
chosen as an elective by other students, especially by those
specializing in "Peace, Trauma, Religion"

General Information

Course Code G_DSRESJUS
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator prof. dr. F. Enns
Examiner prof. dr. F. Enns
Teaching Staff prof. dr. F. Enns
drs. F.Y. van Hulst

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: