Camden Theological Library

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Beyond the Walls of Separation : Faith and Ministry in Prison

Posted on 24 April 2014 Gavin Glenn

Beyond the Walls of Separation is an essential and easy-to-read guidebook for chaplains and volunteers working in the context of prison, and for all those who are professionally or through family links related to those in prison. The book tells the story of what life behind bars is, and how inmates experience transformation through Christian faith: People at the crisis points of their life, where they are shattered, and where little is left of what made them, may experience life as fragile and as a transparent filter for the mysterious. Yet they also may experience God’s life-giving presence. Love, expressed in forgiveness – against all odds, against all merits and previous experiences – lies at the root of many stories of transformation that emerge from prison.

The book guides visitors to approach inmates without condescension, with an awareness of the social dimension of power an inequality, and with sensitivity to the suffering and alienation that individual prisoners experience. The many years of prison ministry in different cultural contexts and with inmates from all nations have taught the author that Christ does not need to be brought to prison through visitors, through evangelistic events, or through Christian outreach. He is already powerfully present in prison.

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