Modern Believing

When Sorry is Not Good Enough: The Displaced Christology of Canada’s 2008 Apology

Modern Believing (2021), 62, (3), 252–261.

Abstract

This paper argues that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada was marked by several key theological assumptions and that it specifically retained a decidedly christological understanding of reconciliation. In the place of Christ as agent and medium of reconciliation stood the nation of Canada, which sought to bring together indigenous and non-indigenous parties under its sovereign control. Further, through the mechanism of the Government of Canada’s apology of 2008 to survivors of the Indian residential schools, Canada sought to offer a vicarious form of atonement, which would solve the so-called ‘Indian problem’. In the place of Jesus’s and universal victory, the TRC problematically positioned the nation state as the saviour who would broker reconciliation within its boundaries.

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Author details

Barter, Jane