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Doing Justice to Mercy

Religion, Law, and Criminal Justice

Jonathan Rothchild (editor) Matthew Myer Boulton (editor)
Kevin Jung (editor)

ISBN: 9780813926421

Publication Date: Oct 2007

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

It is often assumed that the law and religion address different spheres of human life. This book challenges this assumption by presenting the reader with an urgent conversation between the law and religion that yields a constructive approach, both theoretically and practically, to the complex role of mercy in our legal process.
£61.95

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It is often assumed that the law and religion address different spheres of human life. Religion and ethics articulate complex systems of moral reasoning that concern norms, deliberation of ends, cultivation of disposition, and transformation of moral agency. Law, in contrast, seeks to govern human conduct through procedural justice, rights, and public good. "Doing Justice to Mercy" challenges this assumption by presenting the reader with an urgent conversation between the law and religion that yields a constructive approach, both theoretically and practically, to the complex role of mercy in our legal process. Authored by legal practitioners, activists, and theorists in addition to theologians and ethicists, the essays collected here are informed by timeless principles, and yet they could not be timelier. The trend in sentencing moves toward an increased severity, and the number of incarcerated people in the United States is at an all-time high. In the half-decade since 9/11, moreover, homeland security has established itself as a permanent fixture in our lives. In this atmosphere, the current volume seeks initially to clarify how justice and mercy intertwine in relation to a number of issues, such as rehabilitation, the death penalty, domestic violence, and war crimes. Exploring the legal, philosophical, and theological grounds for mercy in our courts, the discussion then moves to the practical ways in which mercy may be implemented.

Reviews

An engaging, vital book, well written and pertinent to a wide range of theoretical and practical issues in the shaping of policy in this society's treatment of persons deemed 'criminals.'... This book suggests that wrongdoers deserve forms of justice tempered by mercy and mercy inclusive of some level of punishment that falls short of revenge. Currently, many Americans like revenge. But that makes this book as important as ever. - Donald W. Shriver, Union Theological Seminary, author of Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds
Pages 288
Date Published 30 Oct 2007
Publisher University of Virginia Press
Series Studies in Religion & Culture
Subject/s History of religion   Penology & punishment   Religious social & pastoral thought & activity  
Jonathan Rothchild is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Matthew Myer Boulton is Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching at Andover Newton Theological School. Kevin Jung is Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at the Wake Forest University Divinity School.

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