The Furnace of Affliction Paperback

Prisons and Religion in Antebellum America

by Jennifer Graber;


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The Furnace of Affliction

Full Product Description

Focusing on the intersection of Christianity and politics in the American penitentiary system, Jennifer Graber explores evangelical Protestants' efforts to make religion central to emerging practices and philosophies of prison discipline from the 1790s through the 1850s. Initially, state and prison officials welcomed Protestant reformers' and ministers' recommendations, particularly their ideas about inmate suffering and redemption. Over time, however, officials proved less receptive to the reformers' activities, and inmates also opposed them. Ensuing debates between reformers, officials, and inmates revealed deep disagreements over religion's place in prisons and in the wider public sphere as the separation of church and state took hold and the nation's religious environment became more diverse and competitive. Examining the innovative New York prison system, Graber shows how Protestant reformers failed to realize their dreams of large-scale inmate conversion or of prisons that reflected their values. To keep a foothold in prisons, reformers were forced to relinquish their Protestant terminology and practices and instead to adopt secular ideas about American morals, virtues, and citizenship. Graber argues that, by revising their original understanding of prisoner suffering and redemption, reformers learned to see inmates' afflictions not as a necessary prelude to a sinner's experience of grace but as the required punishment for breaking the new nation's laws.

The Furnace of Affliction by Jennifer Graber was published by The University of North Carolina Press in November 2014. The ISBN for The Furnace of Affliction is 9781469622255.

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Specifications

Details for The Furnace of Affliction

Page last updated 26th April 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback / softback
PublisherThe University of North Carolina Press (November 2014)
Weight390g
Number of Pages248
Thickness14 mm
Height234 mm
Width156 mm
ISBN9781469622255
ISBN-101469622254
Product Code4318207
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