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And now I have the distinct pleasure of introducing to many of you who may not know the speaker that sits behind me and the treat that you have in store as he deals with the subjects at hand Let me just remind those of you who may not know that during this week at 10:45 the institution is dealing with security preparedness. The religion department decided that we would go not off theme but take a different angle of vision on the theme and take a look at forgiveness and reconciliation as the true roots of security and preparedness and to lead us off this week we couldn't have a better choice than Professor Volf, he is a native Croatian you might want to know that he arrived last night from Croatia and will return to Croatia tomorrow morning. He wanted to be here to begin us on our course in this lecture series and we are very grateful to him for doing this. He began his higher education at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Croatia, earned his master's degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California and two PhD's as though one were not enough from the University of Tubingen in Germany, and during his ten year as a Professor of theology at Fuller, he wrote the book Exclusion and Embrace, an exploration of how it is possible to forgive and love our enemies. In addition to holding the Henry B. Wright chair of Theology at Yale Divinity School, Professor Volf also serves as the director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He has written on many subjects, from the possibility of doings one work in the spirit to the relevance of theology in the life of the non academic to the possibility of actually loving your enemies. His hallmark of work being it great practicality, he is at once a theological innovator giving academics new things to think about and a translator bringing the prophetic relevance of academic debates into the thought and language of the everyday church goers. His most recent book is entitled The End of Memory remembering rightly in a violent world. And you will be delighted to know that Professor Volf will be doing a book signing at 3:30 at the author's out called down near book store immediately after this presentation. And we would like today to thank the H. Parker and Emma O. Sharp Lectureship Fund for their support of this lecture and we are enormously grateful to this family for their support would you now joining me, thank you. Please give them a hand would you now joining me and welcoming to the podium Professor Miroslav Volf, thank you. I am so delighted that I can be with you here this afternoon - afternoon is not a greatest time to speak I realize, you may be falling asleep while I talk. You know, as I grew up in Yugoslavia Yugoslavia, the communist regime and towards the end of regime's life it was press was relatively free and people were joking about communism and what communism has and hasn't achieved and occasionally youth had cartoon poking fun of the communist party and I remember one of the cartoons which was in the late 80s and you know, how in the communist area there were these five year plans and the gist of a five year plan in a speech occasion by five year plan is how we the communist are in the near future of next five years are going to over come rocking capitalist and our economy is performing and so far -- so for the better society and it went on forever right and often you know audience will fall asleep because they have heard this speech so many tines it is all the same, but on this cartoon it was the speaker himself who has fallen asleep because, he said it so many times, they didn't believe a word of it. So if I fall asleep, it's not going to be because I don't believe a word of it is because to be because, I have traveled late last night, hopefully not. In fact I had I had a whole lecture prepared for you. I can even show it to you. I learned it even by heart I could speak it to you and then as I was flying over New York city. I decided to I changed my mind. And I decided to give you a different lecture. The topic of the lecture that I was going to talk about was about Generosity and as a part of generosity the idea of forgiveness and reconciliation. The background of this talk was observation that we today, live in kind of a ungenerous culture. In the book that I have written called "free of charge", I have called it in the culture strip of grace. I had my publisher allowed me I would have written giving and forgiving subtitle - giving and forgiving in a kick ass culture. But they didn't think that was appropriate for the sub title of the book, I don't know why, but that describes it really well. Don't you think so? We kind of live in a kick ass culture. And when you can you can recall to 9/11 right? Our president said officially that it's time now to kick some ass, right. You can understand often the sentiment and yet you can see also how living in a kick ass culture presents a problem for security at all levels. You got to watch your ass, right all the time. So I was going to talk about that to you. And how do we find ways, to get out of the mind set of retributive actions toward each other and find ways back towards generosity and then I was - as I was flying over New York city, I remembered that during 9/11, I was in the city, in fact I was at the UN, I was giving a talk, before the 56 assembly was to start, it was a break first religious meeting at which I was speaking. And I was speaking about reconciliation and as I was wrapping up my talk, I sense that there was bit of commission in the back ground and later I realized that the first plane had hit the towers. We were then escorted out and whole UN building was ofcourse emptied immediately after that session which I spoke, there was supposed to be the sounding of the Japanese peace gong which was the present of Japanese government to the United Nation of course that was scrap as a ceremony, all right and it ensued what ensued kind of emptying of the New York city, and as I was flying over the city going down I decided, I want to talk to you about memory which is the subject of my subsequent book. How do we remember and in particular, how do we remember wrongs that were committed against us. That is one of the fundamental issues, I think it is one of the fundamental security issues, I think it's one of the fundamental issues when it comes to forgiveness, when it comes to reconciliation. The role of memory particular, memory of wrongs that we have suffered, and since I am starting now, I think I am going to roll up my sleeves, and go for it. Many of you, I am sure have read the works of Elie Wiesel, Elie Wiesel today can be well described as the prophet of memory. In some sense all of his writings is one large attempt not to forget, one large attempt to remember, that incredible event or series of events that goes under the name Holocaust and what drives Elie Wiesel in this, he has said that in his Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech, he put it this way, there is a salvation in memory, if we forget, we are doomed. We let the victims sorry - we let the perpetuator triumph twice over the victims. Once when they have kill them, the second time, when the deed was forgotten. There is also protection in a sense in memory. It's that memories are shield, that protects us from future similar evil deeds. Various other sub themes are present in Elie Wiesel's work about the importance of memory. Now my experience with memory, was some what different than Elie Wiesel's, because when the war in former Yugoslavia started, it started because certain people have decided to remember what has happened? In a certain way. So that memory of what happened during the world war two to the Serbian population, served as a justification and legitimation for present day political action which ensued in occupation of my country, if you look at the conflict in Ireland many of you would have been familiar with that over the years, you can see what incredibly in citreous role memory of what happened has play indeed conflict could not exist varied not for memories, it's the memories that fueled the conflict, certain understanding, certain way of remembering, fueled the conflict and so it is, in all the conflicts that I know of including those that happened in the living rooms between spouses and siblings, memory plays a crucial role. Elie Wiesel says that salvation is a memory, I think I can save with a must justification, damnation is a memory. And indeed toward the end of his then recent years may be, recent 10 years or so especially after the war in former Yugoslavia, Elie Wiesel has started giving interviews and in one of those which speak about this ambiguous character of memory, and in one of those interviews he speaks about abomination of memory, because they remember that's why they hate each others guts. So memory leads precisely to conflict and so one of the essential questions for me as I was perusing work on reconciliation, reflecting on reconciliation, was what do we do with memories. The shield of memory, remember this image of the shield I think Elie Wiesel, used that image, the shield of memory, so easily mutates into a sword and you can understand what right, if offense is offense and some times the best defense, you can see why it will be advantageous to turn the shield into a sword. And some times with out you really knowing it, it becomes pleasure. So the central question, that we are facing is how do we make a memory instead of a cause of conflict a source of reconciliation, that's the central question in our own personal lives, but that's also central question in more public lives. I don't want to spend a lot of time indeed very little time about reflecting together with you about the role of certain remembering of 9/11 in US foreign and domestic policy. It would be very interesting in telling study to under take that. But we can speak about many other situations its very close to our own issues of security in this particular way. So my question was how do I let me use a big word for us disambiguate memory, how do I make it, how do I prevent it from this shifting having this shifting character, sword shield in to sword alright. How do I remember well, how do I remember vitally in a violent world. In the book that I have written on this "the end of memory" I use as a back born of the whole book and narrative back bone of the whole book a story of my own interrogations that is me being interrogative not me interrogating right. When I was conscripted to be a soldier in the communist army, whole unit was organized around were spying on me every conversation I had was recorded, pictures were taken of me when ever I was off the base when there was a file that then on the table of security officer when he first time invited me for a conversation. So already the idea of being invited for a conversation which was being forced to interrogation is that tells you how he perceived what was going on and how that was remembered in official documents I am sure if I look in official document there was some thing of that sort being said there, I was invited for a conversation. And then interrogation started over a period of some three months anytime night or day I could be summoned and then threatened with this or that because I have said this or that bad word about communist regime and the glory of revolution or because I ended up being more of a pacifist than they wanted me to be or some thing of that so. And interrogators have many have changed ranks of generals to common soldiers but one person stayed always and I his his his name is captain Goronowich and I have given him the name Captain G in my book and so for me also then at the personal after this was over. The question became well how do I relate in my memory now to Captain G, Captain G have the life in my mind closer it was to interrogations more dominating he was, of my own imagination, but the central question for me not just for my personal well being but for my relationship to other people, my relation ship to him was what kind of life will Captain G have in my memory. How do I remember rightly, that's what I want to talk to you about? And I want to mention three things. One, remember in a healing way therapeutic remembering. Second, remember truthfully, and the two some times seem to conflict with each other and I will address that issue. And the third is remembered in a reconciling way this is kind of the brief out line of this talk of mine. Am I - are you hearing me well back there out there every thing okay, excellent. So lets look first at the therapeutic dimension of remembering, what happens when we suffer egregious wrong doing? Well the wrong doing shatters to pieces our world. The life itself can become meaningless, how can this happen? What was predictable, what was controllable suddenly becomes unpredictable, uncontrollable and life looses its own sense. The other thing that happens when we suffer egregious wrong is that our very self becomes colonized so it's been. We become defined by the wrong that was done to us we see ourselves as those who have what ever suffered that and that becomes almost defining moment of our lives. And third thing that happens which is connected with the second one is that these wrong doing that we have suffered tends to colonize our future. We think that subconsciously more than consciously that the future cannot be but the extension of the past. It will happen to me again, it could happen to me again. Because that's how life is setup, right. So the future becomes almost like a projection of the past in to the future and you see how in these many ways our wrong doing dominates our life. Now the way I want to talk about therapeutic dimension of and the deed through the rest of my talk is I want to look at the resources of the Christian tradition to help us remember rightly. I am a Christian for better or for worse. I am very happy enthusiastic Christian too for better or for worse. And so what I give you I don't know many of you may not be Christians or have a broken relationship with Christian faith, what ever- what ever that might me. But what I can offer to you is what I can mine from the resources of that tradition for dealing with the issue of do you remember, right. And indeed in my own personnel stories the Christian faith that has sustained me it's the Christian faith that have provided the shape of my own remembering and the healing to my own soul relationship, so I speak as a witness and I speak as a theologian who have studied these things from the Christian prospective So let's look at these issues we have just discussed right now in terms of contribution of the Christian faith to remembering rightly which is to say in the healing way. First, wrong doing makes our life meaningless; it will take the meaning out of our life. Well the story of the Christian faith is this that no matter what happens with our own personnel life they are always already inserted in the large story of God's dealings with humanity. And we know the end of that story, just as we know the beginning of that story because our lives are not in our own hands our lives are not in the hands of the evil diverse, our life's are most fundamentally in the hands of the loving god. Not withstanding what happens to us the world as a whole has not become devoid of meaning. Our life's are held in god's hands and taken to a good end. Wrong doing tends to colonize our own selves, we see our selves as those who have being wrong and the story - Christian story tells us you re not defined by what some body else does to you. You are not defined by what you do to your self, indeed nothing and nobody in this world can define who you are. You are god's creature you are defined not by relationship of any body to you but by relationship of god to you. And for you the message is you are god's beloved child and absolutely nothing can change that. The wrong doing tends to colonize our future. And indeed some times it looks like that future is the sum of what has happened in the past when you try to predict what is going to happen tomorrow right, why you can figure out what has happened yesterday, what are the factors that are contributing to you today then I make a conclusion that's how weather is predicted right that's how everything we know in this life is predicted on the basis of the state of affairs as it is now, how it has come to be, what are its causes that have been pinched upon it, that's how it is going to be in the future we extrapolate. Now, in the Christian faith I think, that's the same in the Jewish faith also, future doesn't come to us simply from the past, future comes to us from god that's why something new can happen in the world that's why new possibilities are possible, that's why we are not prisoners of our past, that's why the possibility of future is different than the past, is they are available to us the term for that in the Christian tradition is advent that's what advent means, the coming of god to us, which defines our future possibilities. Brief comments about memory and therapy. Second, remembering truthfully. Now many people have questions about whether we can ever remember things truthfully and indeed if you look at studies of how people remember and if you observe really your own memory older we get - oh my goodness, if you observe your own memory you can get kind of suspicious about how truthful we can be in remembering and yet I think it is also correct to say that without truthfulness there can be no healing of a person and of memories. We know that truthfulness is desirable, it's important remember that little book called "A Million Little Pieces", the book was interesting for the debate that, a rose when it was found out that the person who wrote it did not write his autobiography but it was - yeah he was letting the free rains of his imagination and peddling it as his own biography autobiography. Obviously to many of his readers it mattered whether it was autobiography, whether it happened or whether he was just writing a novel under the guise of also a autobiography. So in profound ways truthfulness matters to us not withstanding the suspicions about memory and most of us you know, lets be realistic we know that we can quiet remember everything a little bit but we also know that in rough controversy, you want to remember rightly and we try to do that right. That -- that's very important for us for instance -- I sit in the pub with my buddies and I started telling them about about the lectures that I gave at the UN before 9/11 and I tell a story and say listen, I started my my talk and then toward the end of my lecture I used the poem of Paul Celan called "Death Fugue" and in that poem of Paul Celan "Death Fugue", Paul Celan speaks about Holocaust victims who have their grave in the air and I say just as the planes were hitting the tower, I was mentioning this poem about grave in the air sounds pretty impressive right if I had actually done that and my friends said give me a break you said none of that thing at all you never quoted Paul Celan at all, let alone mention this right. You know, it mattered that I have whether I have said this or not it matter whether I have quoted this poem or not because by quoting it, I am bolstering my reputation right, so, anytime when you have especially conflict between the people untruthfulness is always a form of injustice you say something is not true about what has transpired between you and somebody else when you are in conflict clearly you are either bolstering yourself, justifying yourself or you are more condemning the other person and that's why I think for reconciliation truthfulness matters that's why when we have spouse or fraternal disputes, that's why we some times so doggedly some times stupidly frankly insist on small details if they are right, right because if that are not right there is always a fear of being precisely by saying untruthfulness of being treated unjust truthfulness matters, matters a great deal to us. But how do we speak the truth, you see generosity is most fundamental even for the simple act of speaking the truth when it comes to conflict. Why should I speak truth, if truth is against me why should I be for truth? Right, that's the way in which I can react always, then I am going to stake my ground and I am going to fight all right, I am going to peddle and I am going to say some thing to be true, in order to succeed in my struggle. I have to have interest of another person in my mind, if I am to be truthful, when truth is against me, and so the basic attitude of sympathy for the other of one thing to live in a community with the other of having generous spirit toward the other is essential if we are to be truthful with one another and truthfulness is a condition, for reconciliation, condition for rightly remembering. So remember therapeutically, remember truthfully, and finally remember in a reconciling way. What does it mean to me remember in a reconciling way? In the Christian tradition, there are two great events, that are being remembered, as a religious duty, one great event is the event of Exodus, exodus of the people of Israel from slavery, Israelites always remember that indeed Christians remember that also because for Christians that is saving event and then there is a second great saving event that is being remembered, and that is the cross and the resurrection of Christ. Every time we have lord's supper, that's exactly what we remember, we remember the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, now, I think that for reconciling remembering, it is essential for us to be guided, by memory of the cross and resurrection as Christians I couldn't elaborate very long on this, but let me make three brief remarks and then I will end and we will have time for discussion. What does it mean to remember guided by our belief that Christ died and rose for ever sins. You know when Christ died, Christ died in solidarity with those who suffer but the genius of the Christian tradition I think it is also to claim that Christ died on the cross for the enemies. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". Luke report that Jesus said those words from the cross, we are not sure whether he did actually, or not because some of the earliest manuscripts do not contain those words, but whole life of Jesus can be summed up with this idea, love of the enemy, generosity is toward the wrong door, Christ who dies even for the ungodly. Now look at the implications for remembering of this and I will name only three and I will tie them to my own story relationship of myself to my nemesis Caption G. When we remember informed by the cross, when I remember informed by the memory of the cross, I cannot remember I ought not remember as a righteous person but must remember also as a wrong doer. Christ died for all, remember that there is a there is a quote from apostle Paul he quotes that "One died for all", means Christ died for all, but that means he died for me also. Which means I am also a wrongdoer. When I remember Captain G's wrong doing against me, I cannot remember it is a person who stands in the light, and he is enveloped in utter darkness. Sure enough when he was interrogating me, it was he who was wronging me persistently. I wasn't wronging him. But there are many situations in my own life were I did my own share of wronging. I cannot remember his wrongdoing without also remembering my own. I cannot remember he is what he done has done to me as a person who has never done anything wrong to somebody else. At the foot of the cross, Captain G and I well, may be we are not exactly on the same spot, but we are close. Right. I am also a wrongdoer. I must remember he is wrong doing in light of my own wrong doing. Second and here is where the scandal begins. Christ died for all for the sins of all. Now that means I think, that he dies for Captain G's wrongdoing against me; which means that Captain G's wrongdoing was in some important sense already forgiven; where I remember Captain G's wrongdoing. I must remember it as a forgiven wrongdoing. And not as a wrongdoing which just sits there waiting to be forgiven, right. Sure he may not have repented for it. But that doesn't change the fact of how God relates to it. It may changed if how Captain G relates to it. But it doesn't change the reality of it. I have to remember wrongdoing against me as forgiven. If I don't remember it and forgive myself. I am not remembering it truly. I am taking too lightly what has happened on the cross with regards to Captain G. And finally, in Christ says apostle Paul we were reconciled; not only to God, but to one another. Now that's now, a scandal on the top of the previous scandal right. Not only that Captain G's wrongdoing was forgiven, it's a wrong thing to forgive you know. And then you say, you know I have forgiven; now I go this way and please you go that way. all right. And that we shall never meet, and life will be just fine. But we were also reconciled kind of brought back somehow together he and I in Christ. I have to remember his wrongdoing as the wrongdoing with of a person with whom I am already, and we will be reconciled. And that's a tuff thing. I remember, I was teaching one day, at Yale and the topic was expectation that you know I teach Christian doctrine, right. And so, one of the topics in the Christian doctrines, "What do you expect in life to come?" "What happens when you die?" And so, I was speaking about this final reconciliation the world to come is the world of love. If the world to come is the world of love that means that some how enemies have to be reconciled because before they are going to get there. And those who are here enemies will be sitting together as friends. I was taking about this. There was an African American woman who was sitting in the third row and I felt that she was uncomfortable with this idea. And I knew why she was uncomfortable with this idea. I knew why I am uncomfortable with this idea. She was uncomfortable because that meant that those people who over the centuries have treated her fore parents as slaves, mistreated them in most egregious ways somehow may find themselves together not in separate corners of heaven but around the common table feasting together. It's a really uncomfortable notion. Another friend of mine at Yale - Carlos Eire his name, if you, if you haven't read his book "Waiting for snow in Havana" go, buy it now and read it. It's a fantastic book, it's a story of his own life as a refugee from Cuba. He was ten when he was airlifted along with I think 14,000 other kids. And he tells the story of his longing for his time in Cuba as well as his struggles, it's a beautifully written book, received a national award wonderful book. "Waiting for snow in Havana" it's great as good as the title is, even better is the content. But he was you know telling me one day his mother has also immigrated from Cuba and she lives in Chicago and there is a small community of ex Cubans who have a kind of spiritual conversations together and her mother inspire of that and so that they they were sitting around a table once and talking about and then one of them asked you know if Fidel Castro would repent, would he go to heaven, and so they were - they were debating this heated debates about what happens to Fidel Castro, if he repents. You know most of their life's have been ruined by revolution what ever you judged revolution but their lives were ruined by, right. The prominent Carlos his father was a prominent judge and you know whole life as he knew it was completely obliterated when the revolution came. So they are mad at this thing and so they said you know when Carlos come, he is going to comes - he kind of resident theologian, we are going to ask Carlos what's going to happen and Carlos comes and they ask him, what's going to happen if Fidel were to repent and Carlos says you know that's what the Christian faith teaches if he repents, he is gone to go to heaven he is going to the part of that world of love. And one of the women there said you know if he goes to heaven I don't want to be there. I can understand the sentiment if he goes there it's not place for me. And yet at the same time that's at a very hard of the Christian tradition we all no matter what we have done to each other, go there as reconciled, be - that has implications of how I will remember the wrong doing doing of captain G. How do I remember rightly in a violent world I remember truthfully hopefully. I remember in the ways that heals me, ways that doesn't colonize my own imagination but it opens me up for new possibility of a new life. And I remember in ways that builds bridges and reconciles me with my enemies. One of the greatest possibilities is precisely this, to imagine a world in which I can want to live with my former enemies reconciled and in love. Thank you very much.