Though Jesus' teachings emphasized forgiveness, the themes of retribution and judgement have nonetheless played a significant role in Christian thought from the earliest times. It is in the struggle of ancient, medieval, and modern Churches to establish effective ritual and other strategies for re-uniting divided communities - to give full expression to ideals of repentance and reconciliation - that the present volume finds its theme, of interest for all periods of Christianity's history. It brings together recent scholarship on how the Christian Churches have dealt with social tensions within and beyond their boundaries, from ancient Rome to twentieth-century South Africa. The many contributions from a variety of distinguished scholars include Christine Trevett on repentance and forgiveness in early Christian communities; Sarah Hamilton on penance in the age of Gregorian reform; John Bossy on satisfaction in early modern Europe; and Hugh Mcleod on Christian attitudes to capital punishment in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dr. Kate Cooper and Dr. Jeremy Gregory are both Senior Lecturers at the Department of Religions and Theology, University of Manchester.