Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, is an extraordinary fellow who has done remarkable work over many years in Iraq and other parts of the deeply troubled Middle East, and there are a number of good lines in this latest book.
“Reconciliation is about mending that which is broken – restoring relationships to all that they were intended to be…….
At the heart of conflict is the mis-truth that it is always somebody else who is the problem….
Simply ‘being present’ and listening will, over time, build trust.”
The book is almost breathless as it hurtles through the problems of the region and its history of disturbed relationships, and this is perhaps a genuine reflection of his own combination of impatience and long-term commitment to the problems. I did not however find much fulfilment of my hope for a deeper understanding of the processes and the theology of violent conflict and inter-faith relations. Perhaps it is just too difficult to do this work if you ask too many questions about it, and we certainly need more people doing this work, not less.