Christian Hope and Criminal Justice

Millie, Andrew (2024). Christian Hope and Criminal Justice. In: Babie, P. T. and Sarre, Rick eds. Religion Matters: Volume 2: Further Explorations of Connectedness. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore (In Press), pp. 107–117.

Abstract

Contact with the criminal justice system is often a hopeless experience for all involved. In this chapter an alternative is suggested informed by Christian teaching on hope, with the discussion drawing on eschatological writings on God’s kingdom. Christian hope is seen as a radical alternative to an offender receiving their just deserts. Offenders are offered hope instead of pain and they are not seen as ‘others’ to be excluded from society. Rather, they are recognised as equals, reflections of us all and welcomed back with compassion and generosity. The chapter considers the relevance of discussions of scripture for penal theory and for a secular criminal justice system.

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