At the first national teleconference in the United States on Restorative Justice (in 1991 I believe), a woman asked the panel about the Christian roots of Restorative Justice. She was assured by a panelist that there were none, and no one on the panel said differently. Christopher Marshall’s first book in this field, Beyond Retribution: A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime and Punishment, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001, and The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice, New York: SUNY Press, 2001, published ten years later, demonstrated otherwise. So does this second book by Marshall.
Christianity not only played the essential role in the development of the Western legal tradition (for good or for ill) as shown for instance in Harold Berman’s magisterial Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Boston: Harvard University Press, 1983, Christianity centrally gave rise to the recent worldwide development of Restorative Justice programs and theory.
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