The Religious Crisis of Mass Incarceration in America

Christophe D. Ringer


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Necropolitics: The Religious Crisis of Mass Incarceration in America explores the pernicious and persistent presence of mass incarceration in American public life. Christophe D. Ringer argues that mass incarceration persists largely because the othering and criminalization of Black people in times of crisis is a significant part of the religious meaning of America. This book traces representations from the Puritan era to the beginning of the War on Drugs in the 1980s to demonstrate their centrality in this issue, revealing how these images have become accepted as fact and used by various aspects of governance to wield the power to punish indiscriminately. Ringer demonstrates how these vilifying images contribute to racism and political economy, creating a politics of death that uses jails and prisons to conceal social inequalities and political exclusion.


Christophe D. Ringer:

Christophe D. Ringer is assistant professor of theological ethics and society at Chicago Theological Seminary.