Religion, Crime and Punishment

An Evolutionary Perspective

  • Russil Durrant
  • Zoe Poppelwell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Russil Durrant, Zoe Poppelwell
    Pages 1-17
  3. Russil Durrant, Zoe Poppelwell
    Pages 19-53
  4. Russil Durrant, Zoe Poppelwell
    Pages 55-88
  5. Russil Durrant, Zoe Poppelwell
    Pages 89-126
  6. Russil Durrant, Zoe Poppelwell
    Pages 127-160
  7. Russil Durrant, Zoe Poppelwell
    Pages 161-184
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 185-224

About this book


This book provides a critical discussion of the way in which religion influences: criminal and antisocial behaviour, punishment and the law, intergroup conflict and peace-making, and the rehabilitation of offenders. The authors argue that in order to understand how religion is related to each of these domains it is essential to recognise the evolutionary origins of religion as well as how genetic and cultural evolutionary processes have shaped its essential characteristics. Durrant and Poppelwell posit that the capacity of religion to bind individuals into socially cohesive ‘moral communities’ can help us to understand its complex relationship with cooperation, crime, punishment, inter-group conflict and forgiveness. An original and innovative study, this book will be of special interest to criminologists and other social scientists interested in the role of religion in crime, punishment, intergroup conflict and law.    


faith pro-social behavior morality war terrorism antisocial behavior secular peace building supernatural punishment cultural evolution self-control social-bonding prejudice intergroup violence moral foundations theory rehabilitation faith based programmes forgiveness transitional justice

Authors and affiliations

  • Russil Durrant
    • 1
  • Zoe Poppelwell
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Social and Cultural StudiesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-64427-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-64428-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site