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Date & Time

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
6:00 PM


57th Street Books


Free and open to the public

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Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Vincent Lloyd discusses "Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons." He will be joined in conversation by Laurie Zoloth. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At 57th Street Books

About the book: Changes in the American religious landscape enabled the rise of mass incarceration. Religious ideas and practices also offer a key for ending mass incarceration. These are the bold claims advanced by "Break Every Yoke," the joint work of two activist-scholars of American religion. The book weaves religion into the stories about race, politics, and economics that conventionally account for America's grotesque prison expansion of the last half century, and in so doing it sheds new light on one of our era's biggest human catastrophes. By foregrounding the role of religion in the way political elites, religious institutions, and incarcerated activists talk about incarceration, "Break Every Yoke" is an effort to stretch the American moral imagination and contribute resources toward envisioning alternative ways of doing justice. By looking back to nineteenth century abolitionism, and by turning to today's grassroots activists, it argues for reclaiming the abolition "spirit."

About the author: Vincent Lloyd is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of the Africana Studies Program at Villanova University. He co-edits the journal Political Theology and directs the Villanova Political Theology Project, an interdisciplinary research and public scholarship hub supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. Lloyd's previous books include "Religion of the Field Negro," "In Defense of Charisma," and the co-edited Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics.

The book is co-authored with Joshua Dubler (Department of Religion, University of Rochester).

About the interlocuter: Laurie Zoloth is the Margaret E. Burton Professor of Religion and Ethics in the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Senior Advisor to the Provost for Programs on Social Ethics. A leader in the field of religious studies with particular scholarly interest in bioethics and Jewish studies, Zoloth’s research explores religion and ethics, drawing from sources ranging from Biblical and Talmudic texts to postmodern Jewish philosophy, including the writings of Emmanuel Levinas. Her scholarship spans the ethics of genetic engineering, stem cell research, synthetic biology, social justice in health care, and how science and medicine are taught. She also researches the practices of interreligious dialogue, exploring how religion plays a role in public discussion and policy.