Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Paul Ricoeur's "Pedagogy of Pardon" describes how memory is structured, in culture, civic identity and religion - and addresses central conceptual and methodological issues in his theory of forgiveness (or reconciliation). Where conflict arises from the clash of cultures, memory also becomes a tool to help resolve and heal past wounds. Ricoeur provides a hermeneutical key to examine conflicting narratives so that some shared truths can be arrived at in order to begin afresh. As the many Truth Commissions around the world illustrate; revisiting the past has a positive benefit in steering history in a new direction after protracted violence.A second deeper strand in the book is the connection between Paul Ricoeur and John Paul II. Both lived through the worst period of modern European history (Ricoeur a Prisoner of War for four years in WWII and John Paul, who suffered under the communist regime). Both have written on themes of memory and identity and share a mutual concern for the future of Europe and the preservation of the 'Christian' identity of the Continent as well as the promotion of peace and a civilization of love. The book brings together their shared vision, culminating in the award to Ricoeur by John Paul II of the Paul VI medal for theology (July 2003) - only conferred every five years - for the philosopher's fruitful research in the area of theology and philosophy, faith and reason and ecumenical dialogue.