Some British reviews
"He inspires the reader with hope that forgiveness can work miracles, minor and major, at the level of individuals and families and of national and international politics."
(Scottish Catholic Observer)
"It is a deeply touching collection of stories about women and men who, despite the trauma they have suffered, have stepped beyond resentment and forgiven their oppressors ... this is a book to sober anyone who secretly enjoys nursing a grudge."
(Life and Work)
"This heartening and engrossing book warrants the widest possible circulation in Britain and the USA."
(Day by Day)
"Twenty years ago there were few books available on forgiveness; now there is a spate of them. Michael Henderson's is one of the latest and strong as well as intriguing because he puts together many disparate peoples and histories, ranging from the problems of the Aborigines in Australia, the Good Friday Agreement and other initiatives between Britain and Ireland, to attempts to overcome racial and ethnic attitudes in America and Africa."
(Brian Frost, Author of 'Struggling to Forgive')
"If the need to resolve entrenched cycles of violence and hatred is one of the most pressing problems of the 21st century, then Breaking the Chain of Hate is a book that demands immediate attention."
"Michael Henderson's account of the transforming power of forgiveness in Breaking the Chain of Hate has a particular relevance in the international situation following 11 September 2001.... From my involvement in East Africa I am aware of how much forgiveness is needed to make progress in healing and reconciliation in Rwanda. Michael Henderson's faith and commitment to peace building shine through this book and his sensitivity in recounting personal stories gives an inspiration to all who long for reconciliation in our divided world. Those whose share the journey willappreciate the encouragement this book gives."
(Reform, United Reformed Church)
"It takes the reader on a kaleidoscopic tour of the world's most intractable conflicts. Through personal story it places the challenge to forgive at the centre of what it takes to resolve the most enduring conflicts in the world. It is genuinely revelatory and encouraging. It reinforces what I once heard Archbishop Desmond Tutu say to an audience of community workers — that everything begins with spirituality... what it does with considerable power is to force us to recognise that all conflicts are really the same conflict; that spirituality does come first; that the forgiving actions of individuals are what makes the difference."
(Church of Ireland Gazette)
"Henderson's book is superb—the best I have read on forgiveness, a harvest of marvellous stories that add lively support to its urgent message."
(Lewis B. Smedes, Author of The Art of Forgiving and Forgive and Forget)
"Ireland, the Middle East, Yugoslavia, the war against terrorism—newspaper headlines give daily reports on conflicts based on the law of revenge. Michael Henderson takes us behind the scenes to reveal an untold story, a counterforce of grace and forgiveness. Reading this book I felt hope and courage replace despair and fear."
(Philip Yancey, Author of What's So Amazing About Grace and Soul Survivor)
"Michael Henderson provides detailed stories that demonstrate how forgiveness can actually afford peace, reconciliation, and hope in the lives of people who have been terribly wronged. An important book."
(Martha Minow, Professor, Harvard Law School, Author of "Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence.")
"The best gift that the 20th century can give to our descendants of the 21st will be protection from the massive evils that still clog our political histories. Forgiveness, with its companion repentance, is such a protection. It builds a bridge of hope across abysses of revenge. The stories are told here are already beams in that bridge. I am a better human being for having read it."
(Donald W Shriver Jr, President Emeritus and Professor of Applied Christianity at Union Theological Seminary, Author of "An Ethic For Enemies—Forgiveness in Politics.")
"We praise you, Michael. You have the courage to remind us of the words of Jesus... forgive us as we forgive others.' You invite us to look into the painful eyes of the hungry, the oppressed and the hurting. Your words of wisdom call us to acknowledge that we are agents of change in our world. We are the ones who need to ask forgiveness, to reconcile our differences, and to work for God's kingdom. Forgiveness heals. It's powerful. It works. It enables us to get on with life. Oh, how poignant are your words as we read everyday in the newspapers about this ever-wounded world we live in."
(The God Squad of Good Morning, America and Imus in the Morning
Monsignor Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman)
"If there is anything that can combat the violence and hatred consuming our world today, it is forgiveness. Michael Henderson shows this to be true in his new book, "Forgiveness: Breaking the Chain of Hate." His remarkable stories demonstrate the power of forgiveness in bringing about world peace - and individual peace as well."
(Johann Christoph Arnold, Author of "Seventy Times Seven - the Power of Forgiveness")
"I highly recommend this important contribution to the growing literature on the concept of forgiveness. As implied in this book and Michael Henderson's earlier work, "The Forgiveness Factor," unless a spiritual dimension can be introduced into international politics that gets to the heart of forgiveness and reconciliation, history will be doomed to an endless repetition of returning violence for violence."
(Douglas M Johnston, President, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, Editor, "Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft")
"If anyone has any doubts about the power of forgiveness to heal the hurts of ordinary people and indeed entire nations, he should read Michael Henderson's heart-warming new book, "Forgiveness: Breaking the Chain of Hate." The inspiring stories Henderson has gathered reveal one of the ancient truths of the human condition: the fruits of forgiveness taste sweeter and last far longer than the ephemeral sweemeats of revenge."
(David Aikman, Veteran journalist and author of "Great Souls - Six who changed the Century.")
"During most of my diplomatic career, most assignments that came to me were conflict resolution related. As a result, I came to believe that we diplomats are remiss in not being able to figure out how to get beyond the cessation of people shooting each other. The forgiveness factor' is absolutely essential. Michael Henderson has put together a collection of thoughts and theology which makes it possible for the resolution practitioner to move miles beyond the mere cessation of overt hostility and physical battle."
(Edward J Perkins, Executive Director of the International Programs Center, University of Oklahoma. Former US Ambassador to Liberia, South Africa and Australia)
"In a world where the words "reconciliation" and "forgiveness" seem little to apply to a world in perpetual rage and conflict, this inspiring book serves to give us hope. These stories of actual human beings and their potential for change and resurrection are themselves transforming."
(Georgie Anne Geyer, Syndicated columnist, author and educator)
"The subject of forgiveness could hardly be more timely--when nations, groups and too often embattled spouses yearn for reconciliation. With this useful, highly readable book Michael Henderson makes a meaningful contribution to entering the new millennium in a new spirit."
(Michael Medved, Film critic, radio host)
"Michael Henderson's voice is one of our nation's most powerful and thought-provoking. He offers a counterpoint to the escalation of hostility in our society. Henderson's gentle courage and insight are tools we must all use as we come to grips with a past replete with horror and oppression, and learn to heal history and function as one nation, one world, all the same."
(Julianne Malveaux, Syndicated columnist, author and economist)
Some American Reviews of 'Forgiveness: Breaking the Chain of Hate'
"An inspirational account of some of the most remarkable human beings of the century just past, human beings who were able to rise above terrible personal circumstances and hatreds and practice forgiveness."
(Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology, Eastern Nazarene College)
"First published in 1999, this compelling international look at forgiveness has been updated in the light of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Henderson, a journalist and associate of Moral Re-Armament (an international network recognized by the UN), persuasively argues that the world needs less recrimination and more dialog and reparation. He discusses the importance of official apologies in situations like apartheid in South Africa, colonialism in Australia, and the ongoing conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. To show that international peace is a possibility, he cites examples of victims of war, terrorism, and harsh regimes transcending their initial hatred of their opppressors. Timely and well, written, this important work offers a challenging worldview. Recommended for both public and academic libraries."
"Some books bear the benefit and burden of an incontrovertible theme: say, the value of love or the joy of living. So, too, with Michael Henderson's Forgiveness: Breaking the Chain of Hate. He makes his case with several compelling studies: Australia's national reconciliation with its Aborigines; South Africans - white and black, recovering from their past; Ireland's terrorists and bystanders finding common ground and American whites and blacks bridging historical divides. Each demands reflection and inspires action. Henderson's final notes on "the value-added dimension of forgiveness" may convince the sceptical, as would practical suggestions for ending some part of the human quarrel."
"In 1970 a tearjerker of a movie, Love Story, set Americans repeating the only memorable line from the film: "Love means never having to say you're sorry. For journalist Michael Henderson -- a sort of citizen-diplomat -- love, peace and reconciliation mean just the opposite. Mr. Henderson collects anecdotes about people in conflict who have resolved much of their hatred or guilt by saying sorry."
"Given the turbulent and violent century past, Henderson's book is the hopeful antidote we all need."
"A new book by Michael Henderson demonstrates that the acknowledgment - contrition - forgiveness" experience can indeed offer a hard practical step in moving from violence to peace. Henderson's thought-provoking and affirmative book poses the question "Is forgiveness - both asking and offering - a realistic philosophy between nations and between individuals." The weight of evidence suggests a solid ground for hope that it is."
"Taking his cue from Philip Yancey's observation that the only thing harder than forgiveness is the alternative, the author draws on stories from South Africa, Northern Ireland, and other troubled places - including his own life and that of others - to demonstrate the liberating power of 'forgive us our sins as we forgive us those who sin against us.' An altogether engaging and persuasive reflection."
"Forgiveness. How hard it is to carry out this vital element of our lives. Michael Henderson’s book Forgiveness: Breaking the Chain of Hate helps in opening our eyes to the power and beauty of forgiveness through real-life scenarios. With Henderson ’s exceptional skills in journalism and broadcasting and his awareness of world conflicts, Henderson shares inspiring and moving stories about people’s difficult experiences in life and how different perspectives and approaches to tragedies bring about a world of difference.
For those who have been deeply wounded and suffered through great tragedy, a passionate heart of hatred and revenge may be darkening the spirit. This book reminds us of God’s deep heart of forgiveness towards even the most hateful people. The author seeks to reveal the truth, the truth found in the life following Christ through forgiving others. It is that revenge fails, but goodness surpasses all things.
Also, we learn here that forgiveness does not equate to forgetting and tolerating any evil that is committed. Rather, it is about being able to embrace as Jesus embraced the prostitute that no one could and having faith in the future. This country and people need to reflect on this and learn to forgive or the true experience of a life freed from darkness cannot be revealed. It’s not only about forgiving others but also being able to forgive oneself.
This book offers a great start in understanding the true meaning forgiveness just as expressed in the Scriptures, Love you neighbor as yourself. So, take this journey with Henderson as he shares stories that will leave a great impression of the power of forgiveness."
(Christian Post, 3 March 2004)
"There is a way the world can change from war to peace, from hatred to love. It requires a lot of effort, a lot of understanding, and it begins at home. For centuries we've been told to practice it, that it's healing for ourselves and the other, that it's a way to manifest love and courage. It brings peace to the participants. It is a brave and noble thing to do, and -- it can be very costly, costly to pride, to arrogance, to fear, to hate. Michael Henderson has written the definitive book on it and it's called: Forgiveness."
(Gene Knudsen Hoffman, author and Quaker peace activist)
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