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Religions 2019, 10(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020108

Experiencing Justice from the Inside Out: Theological Considerations about the Church’s Role in Justice, Healing, and Forgiveness

1
Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2
California State University Office of the Chancellor, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract

Recent suggestions have been made that theology may have more to offer on matters related to the subjects of punishment, corrections, and rehabilitation than has often been acknowledged in the scholarly literature. This essay sets out to explore the merits of such claims with regard to how they might assist ongoing efforts to address mass incarceration, including the theological dimensions of punitive justice along with other potentially redemptive realities that theological reflection may illuminate and make more visible. Consideration will be given to the ongoing role that religion plays in the life of the prison before giving consideration to the ontology of the church as a social actor, especially as locally-constituted within the prison—the ecclesia incarcerate, or the prison church. The theological rationale for the basic existence of such an actor is explored along with the effects of such a vision for this kind of transformation the church may experience along with both promises and potential challenges that come with the church having its own ontology, not as a given, but as a creature of grace. View Full-Text
Keywords: Christianity; church; forgiveness; Hannah Arendt; Jubilee; punishment; prisons; prison reform; Pope Francis; religion; theology Christianity; church; forgiveness; Hannah Arendt; Jubilee; punishment; prisons; prison reform; Pope Francis; religion; theology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sexton, J.S. Experiencing Justice from the Inside Out: Theological Considerations about the Church’s Role in Justice, Healing, and Forgiveness. Religions 2019, 10, 108.

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