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Restorative Justice and the Jewish Question

Greenwood, Daniel J H
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Presentation for the Utah Restorative Justice Conference, March 21-22, 2002. S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah. Downloaded 21 August 2003.

Daniel Greenwood begins this paper by observing that the language of some sectors of the restorative justice movement clearly roots in Christian thought: reformation; repentance; and revival. His paper is a reflection on the significance of that religious origin and the strong religious element in many of the actual programs. As part of this, Greenwood cautions about the use of the language and concepts of particular religious traditions in designing a criminal justice program for a pluralist society. He argues, indeed, that restorative justice will be more effective if it transcends the religious and specifically Christian concepts that have inspired some of its proponents. He makes his argument by examining certain foundational texts from the Jewish tradition. In this way he makes two basic points about criminal law with respect to the restorative justice debate, and he contends against the pursuit of particularist, religious-law based criminal law.


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