An Interdisciplinary Dialogue with Two Gospel Parables on Law, Crime, and Restorative Justice
Imprint: Cascade Books
"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
"In his important new book, Marshall presents penetrating readings of the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son and uses these to provide fascinating new insights into the nature of restorative justice. The book culminates with an outstanding analysis of the role compassion should play in criminal justice. This is essential reading for anybody interested in serious thinking about the meaning of crime and justice."
--Gerry Johnstone, Professor of Law, University of Hull
"Few but Marshall could have written this book. In it he brings the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son into a lovingly detailed conversation with the main facets of restorative justice. The result is a deeply instructive journey . . . The gospel announces peace, and Marshall maps out here, recalling the words of Jesus, the only path--a steep and narrow way, much overlooked--that leads to peace. Those who reject the tyranny of the urgent and attend to Marshall's patient prose will experience an insightful, remarkable, and profoundly important book."
--Douglas A. Campbell, Associate Professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School
"Compassionate Justice is an impressive addition to the burgeoning literature on restorative justice. However, it is much more than that. This is a theologically rich account of the foundations and contradictions of substantive justice viewed though the lens of the two most beloved biblical parables: the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. It is imaginative and compelling and powerfully demonstrates the author's deep understanding of justice issues and his commitment to the ethical ideals of mercy and compassion."
--Warren Brookbanks, Professor of Criminal law, University of Auckland, New Zealand
"This is a beautifully written and thoughtful reflection on two familiar parables and the normative implications of the central moment in each: when the protagonist is 'moved by compassion.' An especially important contribution to restorative justice literature."
--Daniel W. Van Ness, Prison Fellowship International
"As with his earlier publications, such as Beyond Retribution, Marshall has given us a profound book in highly readable form. His blend of biblical scholarship and contemporary insights from the social sciences and humanities will be of interest not only to Christians but to others concerned about justice in today's world."
--Howard Zehr, Professor of Restorative Justice, Eastern Mennonite University
"Marshall is one of our most creative thinkers in the fields of biblical studies and social justice, and a pioneering advocate of restorative justice. Shedding new light on two of Jesus' best-known parables, this engaging and accessible study challenges us to profoundly rethink our attitudes to justice and compassion, and act accordingly."
--Andrew Bradstock, Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
"I love the way Compassionate Justice combines thick exegesis of Jesus with public ethics, dialoguing incisively with philosophy and public policy on criminal justice . . . showing how Jesus deepens and sharpens the discussion."
--Glen Stassen, Professor of Christian Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary
"No biblical scholar in the world has searched the Bible more faithfully for its support of the idea of restorative justice than has Christopher Marshall. Nor has any scholar sought more faithfully to promote that justice in the public life of his country. Here, in an intensive study of two of Jesus' parables, he tells me as a fellow Christian that 'justice' in our minds ought to equal 'healing,' not 'punishment.' In the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son, it is clear that for Jesus the remedy for human misbehavior is the mercy of healers, not the retribution of punishers."
--Donald W. Shriver, President Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary, New York