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Exile and Embrace
Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty
Anthony Santoro

2013 • 328 pp. 6 1/4 x 9 1/4"
Religion & Politics / Criminology / Sociology of Religion

$45.00 Paperback, 978-1-55553-817-0
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-816-3

$44.99 Ebook, 978-1-55553-818-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Cloth edition is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

Examining the religious debates and dimensions of the death penalty in America

With passion and precision, Exile and Embrace examines the key elements of the religious debates over capital punishment and shows how they reflect the values and self-understandings of contemporary Americans. Santoro demonstrates that capital punishment has relatively little to do with the perpetrators and much more to do with those who would impose the punishment. Because of this, he convincingly argues, we should focus our attention not on the perpetrators and victims, as is typically the case in debates pro and con about the death penalty, but on ourselves and on the mechanisms that we use to impose or oppose the death penalty.

An important book that will appeal to those involved in the death penalty debate and to general religious studies and American studies scholars, as well.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements:

“Santoro’s Exile and Embrace is a masterfully written book about religious discourse on the death penalty in the U.S. The concept of exile versus embrace captures the heart of religious debates on the topic. One of the book’s strengths is the remarkable way that Santoro captures similarities between the two camps rather than only differences, showing that it is beliefs about the degree of distance between the offender and society that are important. This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the heart of contemporary death penalty debates.” —Susan F. Sharp, L. J. Semrod Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma and author of Hidden Victims: The Effects of the Death Penalty on Families of the Accused

“Anthony Santoro’s Exile and Embrace shows how religious beliefs still infuse America’s death penalty debate. In bearing witness to Virginia’s dehumanizing capital punishment system, Santoro tells the stories of everyone from death row chaplains to bloggers and Bible study participants. In discussing transgression, retribution, and ‘the other,’ he skillfully demonstrates how executions say more about us than about the offenders.” —John D. Bessler, associate professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, and author of Cruel and Unusual: The American Death Penalty and the Founders’ Eighth Amendment

ANTHONY SANTORO is a postdoctoral fellow at Heidelberg University.