Freeing Jesus: What is Religious about the Abolition of Prisons?
Prof. Bryson White presented this RS Conversation in February 2023.
Students and RS faculty gathered to discuss prison systems and what a world without them would look like.
This was the first Religious Studies Conversations event of the 22-23 academic year. The issues of racism in the prison systems and how the abolition of prisons could be a religious theory were discussed.
At the beginning of the conversation, Prof. Bryson White discussed his work with abolitionist theories and the connections to Christian theories like the Rapture. Using personal examples he was able to connect with the large number of participants on the importance of discussing the US prison system and the disappearance of Black men. After a quick lecture, he asked 2 questions for the participants to discuss in small groups. What are your first thoughts when you hear the word “prison” and what do they represent? What would it look like if we lived in an ideal world where everyone’s needs are met? Faculty and students answered these questions and then shared their answers with everyone.