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REDEEMING MEMORIES: A Theology of Healing and Transformation

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by Flora A. Keshgegian

Though the church has often been complicit in regimes of domination that have perpetrated abuse, persecution, and violence, Keshgegian reminds us that the witness of the church is to remember for transformation. Such remembrance is shaped by the narrative of Jesus’ life and ministry, death and resurrection--knit together in the promise of incarnation. The church as a community of remembrance honors and preserves memories of suffering, evokes and validates memories of resistance, and actively supports, embodies, and celebrates memories of connection and life affirmation. In particular, Keshgegian draws our attention to those who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, victims of the Armenian genocide and the Jewish Holocaust, and other historically disinherited peoples and groups. With such powerful memories of suffering in mind, she insists that redeeming memories is the purpose and mission of the church. Keshgegian challenges us to understand that the redemptive potential of the memory of Jesus Christ will be made known and realized by the capacity of that memory to hold and carry not only the story of Jesus, but of all those who suffer, struggle, live, and die.