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NCJ Number: 119401 Find in a Library
Title: Punishment in the Scripture and Tradition of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (From Crime, Values, and Religion, P 23-110, 1987, James M Day and William S Laufer, eds. -- See NCJ-119399)
Author(s): V Mackey
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 88
Sponsoring Agency: Ablex Publishing Corporation
Norwood, NJ 07648
Sale Source: Ablex Publishing Corporation
355 Chestnut Street
Norwood, NJ 07648
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The influence of religion on the development and enforcement of criminal law is assessed in this analysis of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
Abstract: Jewish law represents the law laid down in the Scripture; interpretations, reforms, and innovations added by Talmudic law and post-Talmudic codes; and rational and ethical principles derived from the various communities in which Jews have lived. For the Jew, law is not dictated by God but is revealed in a dynamic and ongoing process throughout history. Whereas Judaism is said to be a theocracy in which there is no distinction between the religious and the secular, Islam is sometimes said to be a nomocracy centered on the law of God. While Islam unifies the life of many by its pervasive religious duties, some injunctions are meant to be applied as State laws. These laws encompass a theory of deterrence, a complex set of prohibitions, and distinctions between offense levels. The essence of Christianity is that God loved the human race so much that he became human. Christianity focuses on Christ as the "Word" and claims that Christ is a reconciling agent and that each Christian has the ministry of reconciliation to perform. During the Middle Ages and the Reformation period, a growing legalism emerged among Christians, as well as an increasing acceptance of the law as an instrument of God's will. This legalism persisted, such that some writers hold Christianity responsible for the repressive nature of criminal justice. The author contends that scriptural portrayal of God's actions is more closely associated with the consequences of countering God's moral law than it is with punishment for persons who disobey the law. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are compared in detail. Appendixes contain policy statements of the three religious movements on criminal justice, along with various responses to the comparative research paper. 63 references.
Main Term(s): Religion
Index Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation; Islamic law; Punishment
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