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Title: Theology of the incarcerated : views from the underside
Author: Ware, Stuart R.
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis deals with the development of a contextual theology that explores the use of prison as punishment and its consequences from the perspective of those who have served a prison sentence. My painful journey through imprisonment and the early years following my release, are paralleled by my early struggles in the development of this thesis and my theological reflection. The result is the development of a hermeneutical model that begins with a critical reflection on the historical use of imprisonment as punishment. The next chapter contains extracts from my diaries of my time in prison (1996-97) and the years following my release up to 2001. Chapter Three contains an analysis of my interviews with sixty-two former prisoners in order to record their 'dangerous memories'. The second half of my thesis begins with the exploration of consciousnessraising in an attempt to understand control and surveillance techniques that continue to exclude the incarcerated and are used to govern our lives. Chapter Four also explores the concept of knowledge-power on the part of the Establishment, including the Church. Yet I find the powerless and excluded also have a knowledge-power. The fifth chapter is a biblical and theological reflection, based on the previous chapters that draw on contextual and liberation theologies. Due to my experiences that challenged my preconceived ideas of God, I produce a number of theological perspectives in my postmodern understanding of God in Jesus: the non-violent God who was incarcerated and executed, and in so doing, became our Liberator. The final chapter deals with post-incarceration praxis that challenges the scapegoat mentality that permeates our society, calling on the Church to recover its founding roots to become the Community of the Reconciled and to embrace the excluded.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available