Religion, Abolition, Mass Incarceration: A Conference at Cornell University

MattedIn October 2013, a diverse selection of scholars, free and incarcerated prisoner advocates, and religious workers gathered in Ithaca, New York to probe the undisclosed means and ends of contemporary mass incarceration. Religion was central to their inquiry:

Since the advent of the penitentiary, imprisonment in the United States and much of the world has been underwritten by religion. Simultaneously, as paradigmatically demonstrated by the nineteenth century abolitionists, religious ideas and practices offer untapped resources for re-imagining justice.

While the conference date has since passed, the website offers a wealth of information for scholars and activists interested in the intersection of religion and incarceration.

In advance of the conference, contributions were solicited from a number of men incarcerated in New York and Pennsylvania. These have been uploaded as image files in the section, Correspondence from Afar.

You will also find detailed Abstracts from the conference’s panel presentations on topics including Activating Religious Potentialities; Secularized Religious Ethics and Prisoner Solidarity; Methods, Poetics, & Utopias of Abolition; Religious Workers on Decarceration and Prisoner Solidarity Movements; Theologies & Counter-theologies of Mass Incarceration; and States of Captivity & Religious Justice in Latin America.

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