Editor's Introduction

For the past several years, the members of the ELCA have been engaged in discussions about criminal justice fostered by the development of a social statement on the topic. Criminal JusticeCurrently, the Recommended and Proposed Social Statement on Criminal Justice (available at www.elca.org/criminaljustice) is circulating through the church. At the Churchwide Assembly this fall, members will have the opportunity to vote on its adoption. In recognition of the important conversations about this topic in the church, this annual book review issue of JLE features reviews of several texts on criminal justice. Dawn Jeglum Bartusch, professor at Valparaiso University and member of the ELCA’s criminal justice task force, reviews Michelle Alexander’s recently popular book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness (New York: The New Press, 2010). Longtime prison ministry practitioner Christie Billups reviews Christopher D. Marshall’s Compassionate Justice: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue with Two Gospel Parables on Law, Crime, and Restorative Justice (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012). Amy Levad, author of Restorative Justice: Theories and Practices of Moral Imagination, reviews of James Logan’s Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 2008.) Logan himself responds to Levad’s assessment and offers his own review of Alex Mikulich, Laurie Cassidy, and Margaret Pfeil’s The Scandal of White Complicity: in US Hyper-Incarceration: A Nonviolent Spirituality of White Resistance (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Lastly, I review Hans Joas’ study of human rights, The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013). Happy reading and enjoy your summer! 


© July/August 2013

Journal of Lutheran Ethics

Volume 13, Issue 4