Source: (2000) Books & Culture (July/August): 16-21.

Oliver O’Donovan is a professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Oxford. Here, interacting with Michael S. Moore’s book Placing Blame: A Theory of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 1998), O’Donovan reflects theologically and morally on retribution and punishment. He begins with a review of theorizing about retribution and punishment. Then he discusses various issues relating to the nature of and justifications for retributive justice. Based on all of this, he goes on to examine the relationship between retribution and mercy, both criminologically and theologically.