Lectures & Events

Mass Incarceration, Retributive Justice and the Penal Substitution Doctrine of the Atonement: Restorative Justice’s Response
Elmer F. and Ellen Laws Burwig Lecture, presented by the
Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Conflict and Dispute Resolution (CISCDR)
MAR 21, 2013
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Moot Courtroom (A59)
CLE Credit
1 hour of in-person CLE credit available, pending approval

How did American criminal justice become so punitive? What role have theories of retributive justice played in this change? How have these theories influenced and been influenced by doctrines of atonement that assume God’s justice is retributive? Does restorative justice provide a more faithful understanding of atonement, and a better theoretical and practical grounding for our criminal justice system?
Speaker Information
Tom PorterTom Porter
Co-Executive Director
JUSTPEACE Center for Mediation & Conflict Transformation

Thomas W. Porter, Jr. is a lecturer at Boston University School of Theology, where he co-directs the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program. He is also co-executive director of JUSTPEACE Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation of the United Methodist Church. Mr. Porter is an ordained elder of the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, a trial lawyer, and a professional mediator. After graduating from Yale University, he received an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and a J.D. from Boston University Law School. He studied mediation at Harvard Law School and Eastern Mennonite University. In 1983, he was a founding partner of the law firm Melick & Porter LLP. A member of the Journal of Law and Religion, Mr. Porter was its chair from 1989 through 2001. He is editor or author of three books on restorative justice and reconciliation.

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