Item description for The Death Penalty: An Historical and Theological Survey by James Megivern...
Overview An authority in the field gives a history of theological, philosophical, legal and popular arguments about the viability of capital punishment. The book shows how capital punishment has been ineffective and thus implicitly argues for its elimination.
Publishers Description This is a history of theological, philosophical, legal and popular arguments for the viability of capital punishment, by an authority in the field. The book shows how capital punishment has been ineffective and thus implicitly argues for its elimination. The author says no kind of history like this has ever before done.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Death Penalty: An Historical and Theological Survey by James Megivern has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 01/01/1998 page 106
Booklist - 11/01/1997 page 440
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.3" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.8" Weight: 2.42 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1997
Publisher Paulist Press
ISBN 0809104873 ISBN13 9780809104871
Reviews - What do customers think about The Death Penalty: An Historical and Theological Survey?
Great reference tool, but lacking in logic and argument Dec 13, 2002
Megivern brings to light many useful and obscure historical texts on the issue of the death penalty. But his analysis of these texts is often lacking. Rather than confront the traditional arguments themselves, he often attempts to explain them away by virtue of their historical context. Moreover, the basic thesis - that two millennia of saints and theologians bowed to political pressure and were intellectually dishonest until Cardinal Bernadin had the courage to show us the light - is hardly credible.
Important, absorbing, and super-thought-provoking Apr 24, 2001
This book really impressed and intrigued me. Its early part, setting out the sad record of the Church in regard to killing people I found super-traumatizing. What a relief it is to see the change which has come in the Catholic position in the last 25 years! I will quote four compelling memorable sentences: "Punishment, yes. Death, no. People are not to be killed--not by any 'right' of the state, not in God's name, not for revenge, not to deter another, not at all. That is the nature of the right to life, the dignity of the human person, the law of God, and the teaching of Jesus." This is one of the most important and memorable books I have ever read.
Bringing light to a very dark subject Dec 29, 2000
As a Catholic who has always opposed the death penalty, I found this book to be very helpful in understanding how and why the "Church" has seemed so confused on this issue. The author shares both his expertise as a philosopher/historian AND his compassion as a person (& heir to the errors and graces of christianity) in this broad survey of a few thousand years of grappling with a gospel response to violence. I especially appreciate his use of the concept of "retrieved values." I found the book easy to understand and full of hope for the future. Everyone who claims to be Christian ought to read this book and think about it.
Death Penalty - the religious perspective Nov 21, 2000
With so many Americans completely unaware of their own religious denomination's opposition to the death penalty, this book is an important reference that should not be ignored. We hear so much about "an eye for an eye", yet we have no idea how that principal was actually applied and LIVED in the Old Testament. And further, how that principal was fulfilled thru the forgiveness and mercy spoken of in the New Testament. I won't lie - this book is a tough, long read. But the author leaves no religious stone unturned, and I give him credit for that!
It was good, but dry. Mar 27, 2000
This book was informative and well written. But amazingly dry. There is not much the author could have done to prevent this however. It was not a book I couldn't put down. But if you are interested in capital punishment it has good information.