After horrible injustice and abuse has been perpetrated, is there any strategy for justice other than vengeance and retribution? Should the killers be killed? This is the myth of what Walter Wink calls "the myth of redemptive violence."
Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye makes us both blind."
What would be an alternative belief system? Ubuntu is an African term which basically means "I am who I am through you, and you are who you are through me." There is an awareness that our humanity and destinies as human beings are inextricably linked. It probably is similar to what Christians mean when they say that we are all part of the Body of Christ. Post modern thinkers are very aware that truth is contextually described and defined, and language, a social invention, makes our consciousness possible.
With the end of Apartheid, many people predicted a blood bath as the black majority took out vengaence and retribution for the brutal oppression and injustice they suffered under white rule. However, this didn't happen. Instead South African went a different way and used the strategy of a truth and reconciliation commission which now is becoming a model for the world.
Speaking Of Faith, a weekly NPR radio show hosted by Krista Tippett, did a show on August 26, 2004 on the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission process. I highly recommend it to you. You can access the Speaking of Faith web site by clicking on the link below. You can listen to the show free of charge and read the supplementary materials.
Speaking of Faith - public radio's national conversation about belief, meaning, ethics, and ideas