Global Reflections upon Remembering War
Edited By Catherine Gilbert, Kate McLoughlin and Niall Munro
How, in the twenty-first century, can we do commemoration better? In particular, how can commemoration contribute to post-war reconciliation and reconstruction? In this book, a global roster of distinguished writers, artists, musicians, religious leaders, military veterans and scholars debate these questions and ponder the future of commemoration. They include the world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz, the award-winning novelists Aminatta Forna and Rachel Seiffert, and the human rights lawyer and Gifford Baillie Prize-winner Philippe Sands. Polemics and reflections together with poetry and creative prose movingly illuminate a subject that speaks to our common humanity.
From Brokenness to Reconciliation (The Very Reverend John Witcombe)
the very reverend john witcombe
The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, discusses building a culture of peace and hope through the Community of the Cross of Nails that emerged from the wartime destruction of Coventry.
On 2 March 2018, writing about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s struggle over Brexit, Torcuil Crichton began his piece in the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record with the lines:
Every day at midday in the Basil Spence masterpiece of Coventry Cathedral, clergy perform a short litany of reconciliation.
In the shadow of the blitzed wartime ruins of the original cathedral, it is a moving little ceremony, a reminder that when we rail against the problems of the world, we need to acknowledge the roots of those problems in our own hearts.1
I think this is a rather nice example of the way that the Cathedral continues to be a location point for people thinking about the past. Coventry Cathedral was a medieval church consecrated as a cathedral in 1918 for the re-founding of the Diocese of Coventry, and to be perfectly honest, it was just a standard English medieval church. It was not particularly interesting for the first twenty-two years of its history, but its significance and power stem from the night of 14 November 1940, when the city centre was bombed – and it’s really important to note that it was the city centre that was bombed, not just the Cathedral.
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