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Offender Reintegration: Insights from the Teaching of Jesus. Chris Marshall Victoria University. The Task of Public Theology. The contribution theological learning can make to discussion of public issues Distinctive insights, with universal relevan c e.

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Offender reintegration insights from the teaching of jesus

Offender Reintegration: Insights from the Teaching of Jesus

Chris Marshall

Victoria University


The task of public theology
The Task of Public Theology

  • The contribution theological learning can make to discussion of public issues

  • Distinctive insights, with universal relevance


Problematic strategies of communication
Problematic strategies of communication:

  • Using exactly same categories as everybody else

  • Using exclusively religious categories

  • Both approaches ultimately render theological insight irrelevant


Criteria of distinctiveness
Criteria of Distinctiveness:

  • Commonly intelligible, but uncomfortably demanding

  • Christologically-conditioned

  • Good news, not just bad new

  • Must practice what we preach



Insights from prodigal son luke 15 11 32
Insights from Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

  • Punishment is a limited device, that achieves limited outcomes


2 we need to avoid or minimise excessive social labelling
2. We need to avoid or minimise excessive social labelling

  • “An indelible ontological attribute”

  • Our identity is conferred by others

  • “Deviance labelling”

    • A theological objection

    • A psychological objection


3 need to develop strategies for conferring honour as reintegrative mechanism
3. Need to develop strategies for conferring honour as reintegrative mechanism

  • Punishment as pain and shame

  • Best robe, ring, and sandals

  • Offending as rooted in shame

  • Punishment exacerbates problem

  • Innovative alternatives??


4 need to offer belonging in place of exclusion
4. Need to offer belonging in place of exclusion

  • Symbols of honour

  • Public celebration

  • Terms of belonging

  • Today’s stark contrast


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