Karma and Punishment: Prison Chaplaincy in Japan

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✍️ edited by Jason DANELY


In recent years, Japan’s criminal justice system has gained increasing attention, in large part because of its remarkably low incarceration rate compared to other highly developed nations with large urban populations. While there have been active debates on this topic, relatively fewer works have looked at the historical development of the Japanese prison and the ways it came to represent and produce Japanese social values. Adam Lyons’ Karma and Punishment: Prison Chaplaincy in Japan not only makes a major contribution towards filling a gap within the broader debates regarding crime and punishment, but it also makes a compelling and fascinating argument about the role of religion in the establishment of the modern prison and probation system and its continuing influence on public perceptions of justice. This is a fascinating story, told with sensitivity by Lyons, through the historical archives alongside the voices of chaplains today. The result is an impressive and original account of Japanese religious and penal history in the making of the modern nation.



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 Karma and Punishment: Prison Chaplaincy in Japan