Down in the Chapel by Joshua Dubler audiobook

Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison

By Joshua Dubler
Read by Rodney Gardiner

Blackstone Publishing 9780374120702
14.98 Hours Unabridged
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A bold andprovocative interpretation of one of the most religiously vibrant places inAmerica—a state penitentiary Baraka, Al, Teddy, and Sayyid—four black men from SouthPhiladelphia, two Christian and two Muslim—are serving life at Pennsylvania’smaximum-security Graterford Prison. All of them work in Graterford’s chapel, aplace that is at once a sanctuary for religious contemplation and an arena fordisputing the works of God and man. Day in, day out, everything is, in itstwisted way, rather ordinary. And then one of them disappears. Down in the Chapel tells the story of one week atGraterford Prison. We learn how the men at Graterford pass their time, care forthemselves, and commune with their makers. We observe a variety of Muslims,Protestants, Catholics, and others at prayer and study and song. And we listenin as an interloping scholar of religion tries to make sense of it all. When prisoners turn to God, they are often scorned ascon artists who fake their piety, or pitied as wretches who cling to faithbecause faith is all they have left. Joshua Dubler goes beyond thesestereotypes to show the religious life of a prison in all its complexity. Onepart prison procedural, one part philosophical investigation, Down in theChapel explores the many uses prisoners make of their religions and weighsthe circumstances that make these uses possible. Gritty and visceral,meditative and searching, it is an essential study of American religion in theage of mass incarceration.

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Summary

Summary

A bold andprovocative interpretation of one of the most religiously vibrant places inAmerica—a state penitentiary

Baraka, Al, Teddy, and Sayyid—four black men from SouthPhiladelphia, two Christian and two Muslim—are serving life at Pennsylvania’smaximum-security Graterford Prison. All of them work in Graterford’s chapel, aplace that is at once a sanctuary for religious contemplation and an arena fordisputing the works of God and man. Day in, day out, everything is, in itstwisted way, rather ordinary. And then one of them disappears.

Down in the Chapel tells the story of one week atGraterford Prison. We learn how the men at Graterford pass their time, care forthemselves, and commune with their makers. We observe a variety of Muslims,Protestants, Catholics, and others at prayer and study and song. And we listenin as an interloping scholar of religion tries to make sense of it all.

When prisoners turn to God, they are often scorned ascon artists who fake their piety, or pitied as wretches who cling to faithbecause faith is all they have left. Joshua Dubler goes beyond thesestereotypes to show the religious life of a prison in all its complexity. Onepart prison procedural, one part philosophical investigation, Down in theChapel explores the many uses prisoners make of their religions and weighsthe circumstances that make these uses possible. Gritty and visceral,meditative and searching, it is an essential study of American religion in theage of mass incarceration.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Brilliantly written with insight, wit, and empathy, Joshua Dubler’s firsthand account explodes stereotypes about religious life in prison.” Elaine Pagels, New York Times bestselling author
“University of Rochester religion professor Dubler takes readers where every American should go at least once—to prison…In this important book, Dubler reveals an essential American conversation that is complex, nuanced, highly intellectual, woefully uninformed, often humorous, and deeply theological among men held in violent, repressive circumstances. This book aptly proves Dostoevsky’s claim that one can judge a society’s civilization ‘by entering its prisons.’” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Scholars will appreciate Dubler’s intellectual sophistication, evident in his insightful references to the theology of ­Kierkegaard and Tillich, and to the philosophy of Hegel and Nietzsche. But a broader circle of readers will respond to the compelling immediacy of Dubler’s narrative, rich with humanizing detail. An eye-opening inquiry into a surprising religious world.” Booklist
“A week in the life of a maximum-security prison chapel…The prison chapel presented a mix of religious beliefs all but impossible to find elsewhere under one roof: Muslims, Protestant Christians, Catholics, Jews, and variations of each of these groups…Intriguing and diverse.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Joshua Dubler

Author Bio: Joshua Dubler

Joshua Dubler is an assistant professor of religion at the University of Rochester and the coauthor of Bang! Thud: World Spirit from a Texas School Book Depository. He has spent more than six years working with prisoners at the Graterford Prison.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Religion
Runtime: 14.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English