Twin Book Launch: Donald Reeves' Memoirs (Continuum) & 'The White House' (Omarska Project)

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 18:45 in Discussion Forums

Where: Dialogue Society, London


  • The Revd Donald Reeves
  • Peter Pelz

Synopsis of 'A Very Dangerous Man'

Donald Reeves' Memoirs 'A Very Dangerous Man' have been published by Continuum . Philip Pullman writes ' A Very Dangerous Man is the autobiography of a present day turbulent priest - one of the valuable sort. Donald Reeves has led a life of great variety, great purpose and great usefulness and anyone with the slightest curiosity about how a humane and open mind can work within a religious institution will find this book of great interest.'

Synopsis of 'The White House - from fear to a handshake'

'The White House - from fear to a handshake' by Peter Pelz and Donald Reeves is published by O Books.

The book tells the story of the possibilities of reconciliation in a universal culture saturated with images of war. It shows how it is possible, against all the odds, to bring together former enemies – survivors of a killing camp, and representatives of those who ordered and perpetrated the atrocities and killing. ‘the white house’ shows how it is possible to dismantle nationalism.

The book is a narrative. It starts with something ghastly and ends with a handshake.

Over a thousand men and boys, mostly Muslim, were murdered and many more tortured in the killing camp in the Serb administered iron-ore mine of Omarska between May and August 1992 during the Bosnia War. Ten years after the war ended Mittal Steel bought the mine. Survivors and relatives of the victims demanded a memorial. The Serb administrators refused. The Soul of Europe was called in to mediate between Muslims and Serbs. This book tells the story of this process, talking to victims and perpetrators and achieving the first steps towards acknowledgement of crimes committed and agreement to cooperate on a memorial which is still to be built.

John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding at Notre Dame University writes: 'This book is a wonderful story of the courage of compassion and tenacity of dialogue in the face of fear and polarisation. I highly recommend it to scholars and practitioners alike'.

Both books are available from Amazon.

Biography of The Revd Donald Reeves

Author of several books including Church and State (Hodder 1981), Down To Earth (Mowbray 1996) and For God’s Sake (Fount Paperbacks 1988), Donald Reeves is also a director of The Soul of Europe. After being ordained in 1963 he served as Chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark where he learnt about the problems for the church in an urban area and how important it was for a priest to understand what makes our cities work. In 1970 he went as Vicar to a parish in South London, a large housing estate with 40,000 people. There he established a training centre for young clergy to help them in their ministry in cities - the Urban Ministry Project. In 1980 he was appointed Rector of St James’s Church, Piccadilly. In 18 years he established a ministry of ‘good practice’ which was an inspiration to churches throughout the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. Many visited from all over the world to learn from this ministry, and it was these ‘visits’ which led him to establish the Soul of Europe when he left St James’s in 1998. He is a well known broadcaster, making a series of films for the BBC in 1989, Making Sense of Religion.

Biography of Peter Pelz

Author of A Tender Bridge, (Cairns 2002), Peter Pelz is a director of The Soul of Europe, an organization which promotes collaboration between faiths and communities and which he established with Donald Reeves in 2000. He is also an artist and writer. After studying and graduating from Cambridge University in 1969, Peter Pelz worked as a teacher and organizer of Arts Festivals. He has exhibited throughout Europe. He speaks German, Russian and French as well as English.

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