Apology and Confession: Comparing Sino-Japanese and German-Jewish Intellectual Resources for Reconciliation

C.K. Martin Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


One of the more common Chinese terms used for "reconciliation" is hejie. "He" can signify peace and harmony. "Jie", on the other hand, conjures up images of untying (jiekai) and understanding (lijie). To untie "knots in the heart" (xinjie) is, therefore, one way of conceptualizing reconciliation in Chinese culture. This chapter focuses on the untying of another knot, the knot of shazai, in light of comparative research. It examines traditional narratives of apology (or confession) as intellectual resources for political reconciliation, while at the same time calling attention to the peculiar obstacles they sometimes present. Reflecting on the term "political reconciliation", one can come to two opposing directions: political reconciliation as "reconciling" with the prevalent power-political status, or as the introjection of "reconciliation" in its moral and theological sense into politics. The chapter highlights the Jewish idea of "confession" as an alternative response to past wrongdoing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconciling with the Past
Subtitle of host publicationResources and Obstacles in a Global Perspective
EditorsAnnika Frieberg, C.K. Martin Chung
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315624631
ISBN (Print)9781138651722, 9781138367395
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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