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The Death Penalty: An Historical and…
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The Death Penalty: An Historical and Theological Survey

by James J. Megivern

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3123 The Death Penalty: An Historical and Theological Survey, by James J. Megivern (read 28 Oct 1998) (Book of the Year) I have not read a more important and absorbing book this year than this one. It is a stunning and super-thought-provoking book. Its early part, setting out the sad record of the Church in regard to killing people was super-traumatizing, and what a relief to see how the Catholic position has improved in the last 25 years. I'd like to copy the whole book, but here is a striking excerpt: "Punishment, yes. Death, no. People are not to be killed--not by any 'right' of the state, not in God's name, not for revenge, not to deter another, not at all. That is the nature of the right to life, the dignity of the human person, the law of God, and the teaching of Jesus." ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 11, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809104873, Hardcover)

Some people believe strongly in "an eye for an eye," while others feel that nothing justifies the state-sanctioned killing of a human being. The death penalty continues to divide our nation, and many citizens are torn on the question of capital punishment. How one feels about the death penalty can usually be tied to one's religious beliefs. Do we have the moral, ethical right to use death as a punishment for the most heinous of crimes, or does the sanctity of human life prevail over all else?

In this fascinating book, James Megivern offers readers a comprehensive history of the death penalty in the West. Using a chronological and historical approach, he explores the development of the death penalty through early, medieval and modern periods, following elements of its history throughout Europe. His work provides insight into why there has been such confusion surrounding the issue of capital punishment and presents background for understanding the position adopted in Pope John Paul II's 1995 encyclical, The Gospel of Life. Megivern explores the U.S. Catholic Bishops' rejection of the death penalty, which coincides with its escalation in favor in U.S. public opinion polls. And he gives a sampling of current European theological thought that reinforces universal human rights theory and the ideals of international law.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:53 -0400)

This original, timely and definitive study will be an important resource for both scholars and the general public. The Death Penalty includes more information on the history of thinking about capital punishment than is available in any other English work.… (more)

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