Executed God

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Winner, Best General Interest Book for 2001, Association of Theological Booksellers

Between 1980 and 2000, the number of prisoners in the U.S. has tripled to over 2 million people, 70 percent of them people of color. Indeed, by 2000, 3,600 people were on America's death rows. This growth industry currently employs 523,000 people.

Among abuses that Mark Taylor notes in this "theater of terror" are capital punishment, inordinate sentencing, violations of fairness in both process and results, racism in the justice system and prisons, prison rape and other terrorizing techniques, and paramilitary policing practices.

With twenty-five years of involvement with prison reform, Taylor passionately describes and explains the excesses and injustices in our corrections system and capital punishment to foster compassionate and effective Christian action. His book convincingly relates the life-engendering power of God - demonstrated in Jesus' cross and resurrection - to the potential transformation of the systems of death and imprisonment.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As more Christians begin taking stands on the justice system (see review of Charles Colson's Justice That Restores, this issue), some are critiquing it as an "injustice" system. In The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America, Princeton Theological Seminary professor Mark Lewis Taylor attacks U.S. prisons as racist and unjust. Taylor discusses violations such as prison rape, excessively long sentences and capital punishment, employing the example of Jesus as a means of transforming an evil system. "It is time to confess forthrightly that in Jesus of Nazareth, God suffered not just death but execution... supported by religious officials," he notes. Taylor's voice is strident and uncompromising, making this a moving if controversial read. ( Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In this work, Taylor (theology and culture, Princeton Theological Seminary) discusses the similarities between the current U.S. prison system and that of imperial Rome, where Jesus Christ and his followers were considered a criminal element. He explains how economics, a culture of terror, and other methods of catalyzing people have created a "lockdown society" in which the downtrodden suffer punitive indignities. The rise of the prison population, under the premise of protecting society, has diminished the freedom for society as a whole, with the United States leading the way for a global lockdown. Taylor shows how ancient Rome saw the crucifixion as a just deterrent and method of control over poorer and slave populations who might threaten the system of imperial privilege if they resisted authority. Jesus created a popular movement that dared to challenge the elite, leading Pontius Pilate to deploy his only means of control over the unrest execution. Taylor points to a current movement that also seeks to undermine police brutality, prison industries, and the death penalty. This book serves as a reminder and expos of the systemic failure of criminal justice as it creates more victims of crime and dishonors those already victimized, but Taylor strays from his premise. This is recommended only for larger religious and sociology collections. Leo Kriz, West Des Moines P.L. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800632830
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/23/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 621,620
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Executed God 1
Pt. 1 The Theatrics of Terror
1 Lockdown America: A Theater of Terror 18
2 Theatrics and Sacrifice in the U.S.-Led Imperium 48
Pt. 2 A Theatrics of Counterterror
3 Way of the Cross as Adversarial Politics 70
4 Stealing the Show: Way of the Cross as Dramatic Action 99
5 Way of the Cross as Building Peoples' Movements 127
Epilogue: Christian Living: Toward a Fullness of Rebellion 155
Notes 164
For Further Reading: A Select Bibliography 192
Acknowledgments 198
Index 202
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2001

    'The Executed God' a must read!

    'The Exectued God' stands alone in its accuracy and poignancy. It will stand the test of time, as a book that any concerned and interested person must read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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