Erik C. Owens, John D. Carlson, and Eric P. Elshtain, eds.

Series: The Eerdmans Religion, Ethics, and Public Life Series

“Call for Reckoning” Conference (January 25, 2002)
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This important book is sure to foster informed public discussion about the death penalty by deepening readers’ understanding of how religious beliefs and perspectives shape this contentious issue. Featuring a fair, balanced appraisal of its topic, Religion and the Death Penalty brings thoughtful religious reflection to bear on current challenges facing the capital justice system.

One look at the list of contributors reveals the significance of this book. Here are recognized leaders from the academy, government, and public life who also represent a wide range of faith commitments, including Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. Like many people of faith and goodwill, the authors disagree with one another, variously supporting retention, reform, or abolition of capital punishment. As a result, the book presents the most comprehensive and well-rounded religiously oriented discussion of the death penalty available.

John D. Carlson and Erik C. Owens are doctoral candidates at the University of Chicago Divinity School and also serve on the staff of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Eric P. Elshtain is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago and a former associate of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

This new series aims to explore dilemmas and debates at the intersection of religion, ethics, and public life. Its high-caliber books will include both single-and multi-authored volumes by scholars, public officials, and policy experts discussing the religious and moral meanings of pressing social issues. At a time when people puzzle over the connections between religious belief and civic practice, this series will offer valuable perspectives to a wide range of readers.


Khaled Abou El Fadl, Victor Anderson, Jeanne Bishop, J. Budziszewski, John D. Carlson, Mario M. Cuomo, E. J. Dionne Jr., Avery Cardinal Dulles, Eric P. Elshtain, Richard Garnett, Stanley Hauerwas, Frank Keating, Gilbert Meilaender, David Novak, Erik C. Owens, George Ryan, Antonin Scalia, Paul Simon Glen H. Stassen, Michael L. Westmoreland-White, Beth Wilkinson