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Criminal Justice: Practicing Hesed in Beloved Community

This workshop with Professor Asante Todd explores how contemporary criminal justice has become entangled with the ideology of “security” and how this process both perpetuates racial divisions and frustrates the vision of Beloved Community. Together we will unpack various perspectives on criminal justice, gain historical and cultural insight into the history of criminal justice, and reflect on value systems present in religion and culture.  

We will learn through study and conversation online. Our hope is to leave this experience equipped to articulate an alternative vision of justice grounded in the practice of hesed within beloved community.  

Four online sessions, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, culminating in a final multi-hour gathering April 23. 

Dates: February 21, March 7 and 21, April 4 and 23.
Cost: Ten or less years in ministry, reduced pay-as-you-can options; more than ten years in ministry, $125. For a scholarship request, please contact the Director of Educational Design, Erica Knisely.

Dr. Asante Todd, associate professor of Christian ethics at Austin Seminary, focuses his research on public theology, the ways in which theological and religious commitments impact public debate, policy, politics, and opinion. He also desires to think with religious communities about social consciousness and democratic responsibility. His publications include “Thomas Hobbes on Human Nature,” an essay in Beyond the Pale: Reading Ethics from the Margins (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) and a chapter, “Black Lives Matter and the New Politics,” in the new book, Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump (Orbis Books, 2017).

Todd earned an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2002 and the Master of Divinity degree from Austin Seminary in 2006. During his years as an Austin Seminary student he served as president of the student body and received the Rachel Henderlite Award, given to a graduating student who has made a significant contribution to cross-cultural and interracial relationships while at Austin Seminary. He earned the PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2016; the title of his dissertation was “Political Sovereignty and its Theologically Cultured Despisers: Prospects for an African American Political Theology.” A native of Midland, Texas, Todd has also worked in the Texas State Legislature, for the Austin Area Urban League, and has served as youth minister.