Mass incarceration: Pauline problems and pauline solutions
The growing realization that the United States today is characterized by mass incarceration has begun to influence the interpretation of the Bible. This essay will focus on the influence of Paul’s letters on the court and penal system in the United States, especially the pervasive emphasis on justification (Rom 1–4) by which our penal system operates. This is followed by discussion of a more constructive model for restorative justice, based on the compassionate God in Romans 5. The essay suggests how Paul’s own incarcerations inform relational models on which ministry among prisoners should be conducted today.
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