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  • Martin B. Davie


An introduction of the review written by Martin Davie on his blog post 'Reflections of an Anglican Theologian' on Justin Welby's new book 'The Power of reconciliation' Bloomsbury 2022.

As he explains in his introduction to his new book The Power of Reconciliation,[1] the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has been ‘a practitioner in the area of reconciliation for many years.’ (p.12) He was involved in the work for reconciliation undertaken by Coventry Cathedral and its International Centre for Reconciliation from 2002-2007, and he has kept up his interest and involvement in this area in the years since.

As he also explains in his introduction, the starting point for his work in the field of reconciliation is the belief that:

‘….it would be a better world in which diversity is a treasure, not a threat, and radically different views could be freely expressed without destructive behaviours. Competition among human beings is good, a gift to drive us onwards and give the desire to excel. Yet to seek not only to do better than a rival but to destroy them is foolishness, for in such a world all lose.’ (p.12)

In his view, the practice of reconciliation can help to achieve this better world. This is because:

‘Reconciliation enables harmonious difference in a way that enables all parties to flourish: reconciliation is the activity that leads towards peace, concord, the common good and well-being.’ (p.11)

The purpose of his new book is to explain in more detail what reconciliation involves and how it can be put into practice in ways that address the issues facing individuals, communities, institutions, countries and the world as a whole at the present time.

Because the fact that it is written by the Archbishop of Canterbury guarantees that it will have a wide readership, and because it reveals the approach that the archbishop will be advocating at the forthcoming Lambeth Conference. it is very important that Evangelical Anglicans engage with this book. This is the agenda that the archbishop is advocating, and Evangelicals need to understand it and think how to respond to it.

To assist with this engagement, I have written an extended review of the book.

In this review I first summarise the contents of the book. I then list thirteen helpful things about the book. Finally, I outline fourteen specific problems with different aspects of what is said in the book before finishing the review by looking in more detail about two overarching problems with the book as whole and suggesting a better approach in these two areas.

The review can be found on my blog Reflections of an Anglican Theologian, to read click here.

[1] Justin Welby, The Power of Reconciliation (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2022). The page reference in this review refer to the Kindle edition.


Martin Davie is the Theological Consultant to the Church of England Evangelical Council and the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life. He is also assistant lecturer in Christian Doctrine at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.



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