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Religions 2018, 9(9), 260; doi:10.3390/rel9090260

Editor’s Introduction: Religion and Crime: Theory, Research, and Practice
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019, USA
Received: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018

1. Introduction

The scientific study of religion is a relatively recent development in colleges and universities around the world. Researchers from many social science backgrounds began conducting studies in the 1960s to determine the extent to which religiosity is related to crime, deviance, and delinquency (Hirschi and Stark 1969). This line of research expanded beginning in the 1980s to include studies of the nature, extent, practice, and impact of faith and faith-based programs in prisons and other correctional contexts (Johnson 2012; Kerley 2014, 2015, 2018).
Religion and Crime: Theory, Research, and Practice contains 16 comprehensive and contemporary studies of religion and crime. The papers include review studies, quantitative studies, qualitative studies, legal studies, and case studies. The papers reflect a diversity of authors, locations, topics, and faith traditions. Such diverse collaborations are important for maintaining the continuity of high-quality research over time.
I have faith that readers will be pleased with the diversity, breadth, and depth of these papers. My sincere appreciation is given to the authors of these important works, as well as to the editors and staff members from Religions and MDPI.


This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest.


  1. Hirschi, Travis, and Rodney Stark. 1969. Hellfire and delinquency. Social Problems 17: 202–13. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Johnson, Byron R. 2012. More God, Less Crime: More God, Less Crime: Why Faith Matters and How It Could Matter More. West Conshohocken: Templeton Press. [Google Scholar]
  3. Kerley, Kent R. 2014. Religious Faith in Correctional Contexts. Boulder: First Forum Press/Lynne Rienner Publishers. [Google Scholar]
  4. Kerley, Kent R. 2015. Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion. Basel: MDPI. [Google Scholar]
  5. Kerley, Kent R. 2018. Finding Freedom in Confinement: The Role of Religion in Prison Life. Santa Barbara: Praeger. [Google Scholar]

© 2018 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
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