God's Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)

Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.55 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Aaron Griffith is Assistant Professor of Modern American History at Whitworth University. A former fellow at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and instructor at Washington University's Prison Education Project, he is the winner of the 2021 Emerging Public Intellectual Award, hosted by Redeemer University, for those in the Christian academy whose work impacts the common good. He has written for the Washington Post, Christianity Today, and Religion News Service.


In God's Law and Order, Griffith connects the simultaneous rise of evangelicalism and mass incarceration, illuminating the way religious leaders played a central role in shoring up support for devastating punitive programs. Carefully researched and persuasively argued, Griffith's rich history makes enormous contributions to our understanding of politics and culture in modern America.--Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America
Considering ongoing clashes over incarceration, social and criminal justice, and race, God's Law and Order couldn't be more timely. With a balanced and sympathetic touch, Griffith reveals the surprising extent to which law and order concerns have not just driven evangelicalism's public engagement since the mid-twentieth century, but also stirred its passions for ministry and reform. This brilliantly crafted and beautifully written work forces us to reevaluate the origins of the religious right and adopt a wider purview when trying to make sense of evangelicalism's political ascent and present course of action. This book deserves--indeed, demands--a wide readership.--Darren Dochuk, author of Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America
Griffith's account of how modern evangelicalism and the carceral state came of age together is nothing short of pathbreaking. Ranging across time and region with unusual sensitivity and keen insight, he weaves a gripping narrative, full of surprising turns and unintended consequences. The connections between past and present jump off these pages; make no mistake, the story that unfolds in God's Law and Order is far from over.--Heath W. Carter, author of Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago
An outstanding contribution to religious history and the history of criminal justice. Griffith offers a deeply researched, limpidly written, and exceedingly well balanced account of the surprisingly complex involvement of white evangelicals with issues of criminal justice, prison ministries, and prison reform. His compelling narrative reveals persistent ambiguities--genuine concern for prisoners, intermittent concern for prison reform, and general lack of awareness about issues of race in criminal justice. I am not aware of anything that comes even close to the sophistication of Griffith's treatment of this subject.--Mark Noll, author of A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada