Review Of Joshua Dubler's Down In The Chapel: Religious Life In An American Prison

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Down in the Chapel: Religious life in an American Prison, by Joshua Dubler, (1st ed.) [Kindle version]. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. (pp. 1-377; Intro No. 1-8124). Retrieved from https://www.Amazon.com Author Joshua Dubler, writer of Down in the Chapel: Religious life in an American Prison, argues that the inmates of Pennsylvania’s Graterford maximum-security prison are a religiously passionate diverse group of people. These findings are conflicting when mirrored with the previously accepted, although a very stereotypical interpretation, on what religion in prison ought to be. Inmates have been accused of practicing the “fakery that is jailhouse religion” (Dubler, 2013, p. 31, Location No. 684) in order to extort the privileges …show more content…

He disproves social stereotypes by introducing the reader to the deepest and most complex inmates Graterford has to offer (p. 31, Location No. 702). Dubler combines the richness of his secular Jewish culture, his desire to study prison anthropology, and his historical understanding of religion in the United States, to create the experimental ethnography known as Down in the Chapel. More than a year he spent inside Graterford’s chapel researching his dissertation, which ultimately landed him a Ph.D. from Princeton University. The book tells the story of inmates, religion, and chapel life inside the maximum-security prison (Preface, Location No. …show more content…

Currently, the United States has the highest degree of incarceration worldwide. A program PAR, People Against Recidivism was, “Launched some twenty years ago to try to lengthen the now even odds that men released from Graterford will return to prison within three years,” (p. 15, Location No. 380). Now acknowledging that most approaches meant to decrease recidivism rates are normally religious based, the PAR emphasizes the need for more goal-oriented plans. Dubler, the religion professor at the University of Rochester elucidates Graterford’s substantial growth through its previous court case appearances, Americas amended laws, and The Raid, being most

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