Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer

Michael Lapsley, Author, Stephen Karakashian, Joint Author
Michael Lapsley with Stephen Karakashian. Orbis, $25 (240p) ISBN 978-1-57075-992-5
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-60833-227-4
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-62698-043-3
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Not quite three months after Nelson Mandela was freed from Robben Island in 1990, Anglican priest and African National Congress chaplain Lapsley opened a letter sent in the mail. The bomb in it blew off both hands, sent shrapnel through his body, and destroyed one eye. Around the world, agents of South Africa's apartheid regime were settling scores with anti-apartheid activists. Lapsley was lucky. Though severely injured, his mind and tongue remain intact, producing this most amazing memoir of a man who writes he "has never made a distinction between human liberation and my Christian witness." Lapsley's personal journey mirrors that of his adopted country. Within three years of his attack, Lapsley opened the doors of The Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, in the "new South Africa," and launched a global Healing of Memories program. The book's final section highlights stories from this work, from Rwanda to Northern Ireland, from Colombia to North Carolina. With dry, self-deprecating wit, Lapsley treats readers to an emotional, gripping tale of a priest, his prosthetics, and his promise, as St. Teresa of Avila put it, to be Christ's hands in the world. (July)
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