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Institutional Resistance to Religious Diversity in Prisons: Comparative Reflections Based on Studies in Eastern Germany, Italy and Switzerland

  • Irene Becci
Article

Abstract

This article explores the way in which prison institutions resist to religious diversity in three national contexts: Italy, Germany and Switzerland. The author observes a phenomenon which contributes to this resistance and that she calls ‘institutional neutralisation of Christianity’. Although they are secular state institutions, prisons’ profound Christian heritage impacts at a variety of levels beyond their chaplaincies. With the help of Durkheim’s and Foucault’s contributions on punishment, the author identifies in the punishment–rehabilitation complex a mediator of this Christian heritage contributing to its institutional neutralisation. An illustration of these theoretical insights by empirical observation concludes the article.

Keywords

Prison chaplaincy Durkheim Foucault Minister Secularisation Religious diversity Germany Switzerland Italy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Social Sciences of ReligionUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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