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Redeeming the Past: My Journey From Freedom Fighter To Healer (12 Edition)

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Redeeming the Past: My Journey From Freedom Fighter To Healer (12 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9781570759925
ISBN10: 1570759928
Condition: Student Owned
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"Not quite three months after Nelson Mandela was freed from Robben Island in 1990, Anglican priest and African National Congress chaplain Lapsley opened a letter sent in the mail. The bomb in it blew off both hands, sent shrapnel through his body, and destroyed one eye. Around the world, agents of South Africa's apartheid regime were settling scores with anti-apartheid activists. Lapsley was lucky. Though severely injured, his mind and tongue remain intact, producing this most amazing memoir of a man who writes he 'has never made a distinction between human liberation and my Christian witness.' Lapsley's personal journey mirrors that of his adopted country. Within three years of his attack, Lapsley opened the doors of The Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, in the 'new South Africa,' and launched a global Healing of Memories program. The book's final section highlights stories from this work, from Rwanda to Northern Ireland, from Colombia to North Carolina. With dry, self-deprecating wit, Lapsley treats readers to an emotional, gripping tale of a priest, his prosthetics, and his promise, as St. Teresa of Avila put it, to be Christ's hands in the world. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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mdf, August 1, 2012 (view all comments by mdf)
There is a Franciscan blessing which asks God to bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Fr. Michael Lapsley has been so richly blessed!

In speaking truth to power as a white Anglican priest living in South Africa during the apartheid struggle, he offered hope to those oppressed by their government. In 1990, when he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in a letter bomb sent to him home, he chose life instead of self-pity and offered hope to those gripped by fear. Since his recovery he has offered his broken body to promote healing and reconciliation over vengeance and hatred, touching the lives of people around the world with his Healing of Memories workshops.

Fr. Michael's memoir, Redeeming the Past: My Journey From Freedom Fighter to Healer, is a tapestry which weaves threads of violence, trauma, faith, love, and courage in his journey from pacifist to freedom fighter to healer. His life story is captured with such great detail and sensitivity by Steve Karakashian that readers who know Fr. Michael sense his presence in the words.

The memoir also includes accounts by some who have experienced Healing of Memories workshops, told in their own words. Like Fr. Michael's life, they are resurrection stories of love's triumph over hate and life's power over death. Like Fr. Michael's, their stories are an invitation to let go of what we have done, what has been done to us, and what we have failed to do and to take one step toward healing.
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Robert Meagher, July 9, 2012 (view all comments by Robert Meagher)
In 1955, Hannah Arendt, one of the most acute and eloquent thinkers of the twentieth-century, published a reflective series of profiles under the self-explanatory title Men in Dark Times. Self-explanatory except for the fact that it was also about women in dark times. In the Preface, she asserted the hopeful conviction grounding her effort:

“That even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination, and that such illumination may well come less from theories and concepts than from the uncertain, flickering, and often weak light that some men and women, in their lives and their works, will kindle under almost all circumstances and shed over the time span that was given them on earth--this conviction is the inarticulate background against which these profiles were drawn. Eyes so used to darkness as ours will hardly be able to tell whether their light was the light of a candle or that of a blazing sun.”

The decades during which Apartheid stained South Africa, and for that matter the world, surely fit, if not defined, the meaning of “dark times.” But they were not without flickers, even bursts, of light, which served both to highlight the darkness and to hearten the souls of all those striving to survive or overthrow it. Father Michael Lapsley was and is one of those bright, enduring, and resilient sources of illumination, a fresh flame struck in South Africa but now spread to other lands, wherever there is justice to be achieved and wounds to be healed.

Father Michael’s story is well known throughout Southern Africa--how he came as a young monk and priest from New Zealand to South Africa, witnessed the atrocity that was Apartheid, and resolved to spare nothing of himself in eradicating it from a land that had adopted him and from a people that he had come to love--a story that was nearly cut short by a devastating bomb blast sent personally to him by the South African security forces who could not tolerate the existence, much less the relentless witness, of a priest who provoked the reluctant conscience of a church and a nation, joined the banned and demonized ANC, and became a fighter for freedom.

Many others have told his story or parts of it, some in print, but here we have the version that I and countless others have waited for--his own. And no one can convey the wonder, wit and the fire of this man as can and does Fr. Michael. It is no surprise that others have called him a martyr, a saint, a hero (as well as a traitor, enemy, and bloody nuisance), but the Michael Lapsley that comes through in these pages is far more accessible, bold, heartening and, yes, humorous than others’ words could ever put on a page. Here is what he was and remains, a man as well as a light in dark times.

This is not merely a history of one man or one time or one place. We all,I suspect every reader will admit, live in dark times, as does Michael Lapsley. His work, as we learn in this book, is far from over, and the light it casts has not dimmed. If he were asked he would probably call it no more than a candle, but after reading this book you would likely be inclined to call it more.

This book and the story it tells have the all-too-rare power of truth, the truth that even one life, if given over to something worthy and great, can make a real and lasting difference. The bonus is that it is told with a wit and warmth and style that make the pages turn nearly by themselves.

Robert Meagher
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hawaiilizzie, July 9, 2012 (view all comments by hawaiilizzie)
I met Fr. Michael in New York in 2009 to participate in a Healing of Memories workshop. I had read his biography "Priest and Partisan" before going and was so curious to meet and be with him. The workshop was quite an experience and started a new journey for me, also. Fr. Michael has come to Hawaii for 3 years now to lead workshops and give Hawaii the opportunity to know him. I have heard his story many times, but reading "Redeeming the Past" gave me such a different perspective of his journey. Reading about his bombing experience from his own words was profound in so many ways. And his telling of his part in the history of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement was very meaningful. I had often wondered how he resolved the issue of the armed struggle by the ANC, both spiritually and philosophically. His explanation made total sense to me, and I so appreciated his honesty and courage.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781570759925
Author:
Lapsley, Fr. Michael
Publisher:
Orbis Books
Author:
Lapsley, Michael
Subject:
Christianity-Inspirational
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

Redeeming the Past: My Journey From Freedom Fighter To Healer (12 Edition) Used Hardcover
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Product details pages Orbis Books - English 9781570759925 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Not quite three months after Nelson Mandela was freed from Robben Island in 1990, Anglican priest and African National Congress chaplain Lapsley opened a letter sent in the mail. The bomb in it blew off both hands, sent shrapnel through his body, and destroyed one eye. Around the world, agents of South Africa's apartheid regime were settling scores with anti-apartheid activists. Lapsley was lucky. Though severely injured, his mind and tongue remain intact, producing this most amazing memoir of a man who writes he 'has never made a distinction between human liberation and my Christian witness.' Lapsley's personal journey mirrors that of his adopted country. Within three years of his attack, Lapsley opened the doors of The Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, in the 'new South Africa,' and launched a global Healing of Memories program. The book's final section highlights stories from this work, from Rwanda to Northern Ireland, from Colombia to North Carolina. With dry, self-deprecating wit, Lapsley treats readers to an emotional, gripping tale of a priest, his prosthetics, and his promise, as St. Teresa of Avila put it, to be Christ's hands in the world. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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