The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America (Aaron Griffith)

In the latter half of 20th century, the evangelical community’s developing attitudes toward crime and punishment overlapped with the increasingly punitive approach of the American criminal justice system. Faith leaders such as Billy Graham and James Dobson cast crime as an issue of the criminal’s heart, deemphasizing its enmeshment with broader social structures and ills.

On this episode, Aaron Griffith discusses his book God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America and how thinking about criminality can help people deepen their understanding of sin and redemption.

Show notes:

  • 0:25 20th-century Christianity and justice
  • 6:31 Crime: A matter of the heart?
  • 15:45 Cities 
  • 21:37 How neighborhoods function
  • 26:45 Biblical principles to guide policing
  • 33:00 Equal treatment for all: a biblical perspective
  • 39:00 Is there room for an inclusive, restorative justice model?

Books/articles mentioned: 

Show notes by Dominique LaCroix

Image created by Rubner Durais

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