Criminology, Public Theology and Hope


Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter draws on Christian public theology and criminology and considers hope as an alternative to the pains associated with contemporary criminal justice. The chapter draws on philosophical writings where pertinent, in particular Kantian conceptions of human dignity. Jesus’ sermon on the plain is considered that emphasised love for enemies. The implications for criminal justice are considered. The chapter then turns to the work of Paul Ricoeur who, when considering the sermon on the plain, wrote about an economy of gift. It is a logic of superabundance characterised by compassionate generosity that gives without expecting anything in return. The consequences of applying such a Christian ethical position - or as Ricoeur put it, a supra-ethical position - to secular criminal justice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCriminology and Public |Theology
Subtitle of host publicationOn Hope, Mercy and Restoration
EditorsAndrew Millie
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherBristol University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)B08LDXGMZJ
ISBN (Print)1529207398
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Public theology
  • Hope
  • Love for enemies
  • Golden Rule
  • Economy of gift
  • Ricoeur
  • Kant


Dive into the research topics of 'Criminology, Public Theology and Hope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this