Crime and criminal justice-reflecting on the influence of religion

Philip Birch, Conor Murray, Andrew McInnes

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter reflects on the role of religion with regards to crime and criminal justice. The influence that religion has had on society over time has been well documented, both in terms of positive and negative effects, which at times has engendered compassion, while at other times has engendered discrimination. Beginning with a consideration of the influence religion has had on society, this chapter first cerebrates how over time the importance and significance of religion has shifted, impacting on the social, cultural and civil aspects of society in various ways on a variety of issues. The chapter then moves on to specifically consider the role religion has played in understanding crime and criminality, and how the understanding of what crime is and what criminality is has been impacted over time. Such contextualising of crime and criminality has undoubtably informed and shaped the response to the social problem, evidenced by the practice of criminal justice institutions and their practitioners. In concluding, the chapter draws to a close by reflecting on both the strengths and limitations the role of religion plays in society, and of importance to this volume, its role in understanding and defining crime along with its response to such.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime, criminal justice and religion
Subtitle of host publicationA critical appraisal
EditorsPhilip Birch, Conor Murray, Andrew McInnes
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003276593
ISBN (Print)9781032232881, 9781032232898
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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