Towards a restorative hermeneutic: local Christian communities responding to crime and wrongdoing

Blyth, Myra Neill (2012). Towards a restorative hermeneutic: local Christian communities responding to crime and wrongdoing. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study proposes a restorative hermeneutic and uses it to assess and evaluate the ‘restorativity’ of the responses of five local Christian communities to crime and wrongdoing. Its central contention is that they can become more ‘restorative’ by critically reflecting on their responses to crime and wrongdoing using the hermeneutic. In chapters I to III, the hermeneutic is established through a mutual critical dialogue between restorative justice and contemporary atonement theology. It has three core principles: ‘radical participation’, ‘righting wrong in a morally serious way’ and ‘reintegration’. These principles are extrapolated from a definition of restorative justice and resonate with the key themes of contemporary atonement theology. In chapters IV and V the understanding, attitude and practical response of these local Christian communities to crime and wrongdoing are categorised and assessed. The findings are then systematically evaluated using the restorative hermeneutic. The final chapter articulates the main conclusion, that to achieve a more restorative response to crime and wrongdoing local Christian communities need to develop a sustained critical dialogue with secularisation theory, an even balance between addressing personal and structural types of crime and wrongdoing, and a critical understanding of the underlying causes of crime and wrongdoing.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
K Law > K Law (General)


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