18 March 2024, 17:30 - 18:30
University Church of St Mary the Virgin
Open to the public
This event is free - please register below

Reconciliation is often thought of as a religious or quasi-religious enterprise, with religious leaders, perpetrators and victims taking the centre stage. Reconciliation is a process that can bring healing, or support the need to sustain just peace over a long period of time. As such, reconciliation efforts may shape the softer fabric of the long-term capacity for coexistence. While the role of religious leaders can be helpful in shaping post-conflict social relationships, reconciliation is also a political assignment.

This lecture will reflect on political dimensions to reconciliation: the role of the state, the distance between state institutions and religious actors in processes of fact-finding and reconciliation, and how the disintegration of such efforts impact on how an apology might be received by historically disadvantaged peoples.

This lecture will explore the elements, stages and conditions of a public process of reconciliation, drawing on her own experience of leading the reconciliation process between the Sami people and the Church of Sweden, and comparing it to other efforts, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Speaker biography

Archbishop emerita Antje Jackelén was Primate of the Church of Sweden 2014-2022 and bishop of the diocese of Lund 2007-2014. She was a professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, USA, 2001-2007 as well as director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (2003-2007) and president of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT, 2008-2014). Beside a PhD in Theology, she holds three honorary degrees. Jackelén has authored numerous articles and books on theology, religion and science, and worked extensively as a theologian in the public space. She currently serves as senior advisor at the University of Lund.

This public lecture is jointly hosted by the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and the Blavatnik School of Government, and takes place in association with the conference ‘Political Theologies of Enmity: Time and the Other’, 18-19 March 2024.


Antje Jackelén
Archbishop emerita
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