There is a good case to be made that the American criminal justice system is itself criminal. Up until around 1980, all statistics we have suggest that the incarceration rate varied at around 100 inmates per 100,000 people. After about 1977, and especially after about 1982, the rate began to rise; in 2008 it was over 700 prisoners per 100,000, and while it seems to have begun a modest decline in the past few years, it remains over 700. In this context, “American exceptionalism” is not an overstatement; the United States is effectively the largest incarcerator in the world; the only states near us are Cuba and North Korea.
We are happy to announce the publication of Vol. 16, Issue 3 of our journal, Political Theology. Unlike several recent issues, this issue is not organized around a single theme, but brings together a range of high-quality contributions on diverse topics in contemporary political theology.
It is with great sadness that we note the death of a former editor, the Rev Dr Tim Simpson. Tim died on Tuesday 7th April after complications associated with his battle with cancer.
There were many aspects to Tim’s life and ministry, more than can be covered here. He was a relentless teacher, preacher, pastor and campaigner for justice and peace. Other places will record his important contribution to many different churches, universities and colleges. For us Tim was a scholar, an intellectual and an editor. His death feels like the passing of an era for the journal and for the discipline as a whole.
The journal Political Theology is very pleased to announce new members of its editorial team who will further the journal’s geographical diversity and will strengthen the journal’s interdisciplinarity. New editorial team members include Ruth Marshall, a scholar with joint appointments in political science and religion at the University of Toronto; Elizabeth Phillips, a theologian at Cambridge University; and Timothy Stanley, a philosopher of religion at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Brad Littlejohn, the managing editor of the journal’s blog, will continue in that capacity and will now be recognized as Associate Editor for the Blog.
William Desmond (Institute of Philosophy, KU-Leuven, and Department of Philosophy, Villanova University) introduces the latest issue of Political Theology (guest-edited by Péter Losonczi), which is devoted to the theme, “Evil and Political Theology.” His lengthy introductory essay appears here in two parts, first introducing the theme in general, and tomorrow introducing some of the particular contributions.
Call for Papers: Political Theology has expressed interest in publishing a special issue on the theme of intellectual virtue and civil discourse (subject to editors’ and referees’ approval). Due date: June 15, 2015.
Intellectual virtues are commendable traits of thought that facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and understanding. Public discourse would be much better off when citizens exercise such virtues, it seems.
Issue 16.1 of the journal Political Theology is devoted to theology, plurality and society. Below guest editor, Dr. Peter Scott, introduces the issue.
Must a religiously plural society fall apart? How does theology process plurality? This special issue of Political Theology addresses the issue of plurality from a variety of theological perspectives. It began life as an attempt to respond to an earlier special issue of the journal, which assessed critically the political and theological phenomenon of Red Toryism. In the earlier volume, there was persistent criticism of an appeal to a common tradition in the context of a religiously plural society.