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Communities, identities and crime$
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Basia Spalek

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348043

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348043.001.0001

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Faith identities, crime and criminal justice

Faith identities, crime and criminal justice

(p.161) seven Faith identities, crime and criminal justice
Communities, identities and crime

Basia Spalek

Policy Press

This chapter explores faith identities in relation to crime, victimisation, and criminal justice, suggesting that religious identities are increasingly featuring in criminological communities, identities and crime discourse, as well as in criminal justice policy and practice. It argues that a focus upon faith identities can lead to the adoption of innovative research techniques and theoretical frameworks of enquiry. However, this work carries with it the potential of being delegitimised due to the predominance of secularism within contemporary western society, whereby an artificially constructed binary opposition of secular/sacred serves to place work that includes a focus on the sacred into the category of the deviant Other. The chapter views faith communities as an important resource for tackling crime and incivility, and indeed for helping to undermine terrorism, through working in partnership with various statutory agencies. It also highlights some key areas for criminology and the criminal justice/community safety fields when taking into consideration faith identities. As a starting point, the key terms religion, religiosity and spirituality are discussed.

Keywords:   faith identities, crime, victimisation, criminal justice, religious identities, secularisation, criminology, terrorism, community safety, spirituality

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