Prof. Chris Marshall is a wonderful kiwi NT Theologian. He was in Hamilton a month or so ago to talk about some of the themes of his latest book Compassionate Justice: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue with Two Gospel Parables on Law, Crime, and Restorative Justice – published 01 August 2012.
The book is described by the publisher in the following way:
“Two parables that have become firmly lodged in popular consciousness and affection are the parable of the Good Samaritan and the parable of the Prodigal Son. These simple but subversive tales have had a significant impact historically on shaping the spiritual, aesthetic, moral, and legal traditions of Western civilization, and their capacity to inform debate on a wide range of moral and social issues remains as potent today as ever. Noting that both stories deal with episodes of serious interpersonal offending, and both recount restorative responses on the part of the leading characters, Compassionate Justice draws on the insights of restorative justice theory, legal philosophy, and social psychology to offer a fresh reading of these two great parables. It also provides a compelling analysis of how the priorities commended by the parables are pertinent to the criminal justice system today. The parables teach that the conscientious cultivation of compassion is essential to achieving true justice. Restorative justice strategies, this book argues, provide a promising and practical means of attaining to this goal of reconciling justice.”
William Cavanaugh, whose in Wellington shortly describes the book in this way:
"This is how political theology ought to be done. Marshall takes the fundamentally local problem of how communities restore relationships broken by criminal behavior and applies the insights of Jesus' best-known parables. Marshall shuttles back and forth between the biblical narratives and the best of social science to enhance both . . . I felt like I was reading Jesus' parables for the first time, and I also learned to think in new ways about criminal justice."
—William T. Cavanaugh, Senior Research Professor, DePaul University
Needless, anything by Chris Marshall is worth a read, and I shall look forward to engaging with the content of the book in due course.
For those living in the Waikato, Anglican Action are organizing a book launch, with Chris, early next month in Hamilton.
A flyer is attached, as is one for William Cavanaugh’s visit.