Religious Attitudes to Crime and Punishment

Within this topic candidates should be aware of religious beliefs and teachings concerning human nature, wrong-doing and the punishment of offenders, and repentance and forgiveness. They should be aware of the implications of these beliefs and teachings in relation to:

  • an understanding of the religious beliefs about law and order;
  • concepts of right and wrong, conscience, duty and responsibility;
  • the debate about the causes of crime including social, environmental and psychological explanations;
  • the different types of crimes, including against the person, property and the state and religious offences;
  • the aims of punishment, defined as protection, retribution, deterrence, reformation, vindication and reparation
  • the appropriateness of different forms of punishment in achieving the aims of punishment, including: the handling of young offenders,
  • the effects of imprisonment, the meaning and implications of life imprisonment, issues arising out of parole and early release, the debate about the death penalty (capital punishment); alternatives to prison, including electronic tagging, probation, fines and community service and the debate about prison reform.

View Electronic Textbook on Crime and Punishment

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