The Book of Forgiving :The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World By Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.

Tutu’s role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Each of us has a deep need to forgive and to be forgiven. After much reflection on the process of forgiveness, Tutu has seen that there are four important steps to healing: Admitting the wrong and acknowledging the harm; Telling one’s story and witnessing the anguish; Asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness; and renewing or releasing the relationship. Forgiveness is hard work. Sometimes it even feels like an impossible task. But it is only through walking this fourfold path that Tutu says we can free ourselves of the endless and unyielding cycle of pain and retribution. The Book of Forgiving is both a touchstone and a tool, offering Tutu’s wise advice and showing the way to experience forgiveness. Ultimately, forgiving is the only means we have to heal ourselves and our aching world.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, a Nobel Peace Laureate, is one of the greatest living moral icons of our time who was a key role player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. He was also the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and primate of the Anglican Church of South Africa.

Archbishop Tutu became heavily embroiled in controversy as he spoke out against the injustices of the apartheid system. He became a prominent leader in the crusade for justice and racial conciliation in South Africa. In 1984 he received a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to that cause. In 1986 Bishop Tutu was elevated to Archbishop of Cape Town, and in this capacity he did much to bridge the chasm between black and white Anglicans in South Africa. And as Archbishop, Tutu became a principal mediator and conciliator in the transition to democracy in South Africa.

In 1995 President Nelson Mandela appointed the Archbishop Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body set up to probe gross human rights violations that occurred under apartheid. In recent years Tutu has turned his attention to a different cause: the campaign against HIV/AIDS. The Archbishop has made appearances around the globe to help raise awareness of the disease and its tragic consequences in human lives and suffering.

Though his vigorous advocacy of social justice once rendered him a controversial figure, today Archbishop Tutu is regarded as an elder world statesman with a major role to play in reconciliation, and as a leading moral voice. He has become an icon of hope far beyond the Church and Southern Africa. Scroll through the timeline for more in-depth information about the Archbishop’s life.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu explains how love and forgiveness kept post-apartheid South Africa from tumbling into anarchy.

Apartheid, Perpetrators, Forgiveness: Desmond Tutu’s views

Desmond Tutu, Chairman of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, his thoughts on forgiveness and its effect on the victim and the perpetrator. A moving, yet optimistic discussion.

Desmond Tutu, Peacemaker: A conversation with Desmond Tutu & John Allen

Published on Mar 26, 2013

On March 21, 2013, the Straus Institute hosted “A Conversation about Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Healing: Lessons from South Africa.” An audience of three hundred experienced an in-depth discussion about the struggle against apartheid and the subsequent efforts to promote healing and reconciliation in South Africa and elsewhere. Participants in the conversation, which was moderated by Professor Tom Stipanowich, included Father Michael Lapsley, SMM, Founder of the Institute for Healing of Memories; Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, South African Ambassador to the U.S.; John Allen, Desmond Tutu biographer and former Press Officer for the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission; Karen Hayes, an LA-based filmmaker who is producing a documentary entitled The Foolishness of God: My Forgiveness Journey with Desmond Tutu; Michael Henry Wilson and Carole Wilson, documentary filmmakers who produced the award-winning Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle. Screenings of portions of these films and Professor Stipanowich’s taped interviews with Archbishop Tutu and John Allen in Cape Town highlighted the opportunities and challenges for those seeking to promote forgiveness and reconciliation for individuals and communities.

The March 21 event celebrated granting of the Straus Institute’s inaugural Peacemaker Award to Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. A special evening event was the setting for the presentation of the Institute’s first Filmmaker Illumination Awards to Michael Henry and Carole Wilson and to Karen Hayes.

The following day, Father Lapsley conducted a one-day facilitated Introductory Workshop for counselors, mediators and others seeking to learn approaches that enable individuals to confront sources of personal alienation, misunderstanding and suffering. Such workshops, conducted in locations around the world, enable people from different ethnic groups, races and religions to reach a better understanding of themselves and each other.

The 3 Keys to Discovering and Living Your Life’s Purpose ~ Dr. Jean Houston

  • Learn how to create new beliefs that support your highest potential
  • Discover how to access your “inner experts” to quicken your learning
  • Develop new habits that cultivate your unique gifts and abilities

Dr. Jean Houston, scholar, philosopher and researcher in human capacities, is one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time, and one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement. Jean has worked intensively in 40 cultures and 100 countries helping global state leaders, leading educational institutions, business organizations, and millions of people to enhance and deepen their own uniqueness.

She is a prolific writer and author of 27 books including A Passion for the Possible, Search for the Beloved, Life Force, The Possible Human, A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story, Jump Time, Manual of the Peacemaker, and The Wizard of Us.

As advisor to UN agencies in human and cultural development, she has worked to implement some of their extensive educational and health programs. Since 2003, she has been working with the UN Development Program, training leaders in developing countries throughout the world in the new field of social artistry. Dr. Houston has also served for a year and a half in an advisory capacity to President and Mrs. Clinton as well as helping Mrs. Clinton write, It Takes A Village To Raise A Child. She has also counseled leaders in similar positions in many countries and cultures.

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