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In: Handbook of Global Contemporary Christianity
Author: Stephen J. Hunt

This chapter considers the theory and praxis of spirituality in UK prisons via an analysis of their prescriptions and limitations. The broad aims of Her Majesty Prison chaplaincy service in England and Wales emphasise both rehabilitation and enhancement of the spiritual life of prisoners, the latter assumed to be an integral part of the former. In order to accomplish such aspirations substantial reforms have taken place in chaplaincy provisions. Most of these reforms were aimed at improving services in context of an increasingly multi-ethnic/faith society. Based upon research conducted in two prisons, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this chapter throws light on the impact of chaplaincy reforms, as well as reporting more generally on the spiritual life of prisoners of faith - permitting inmates a crucial voice. It will overview in particular those factors which lead to the flounder of reforms in practice and suggest a miss-match between not only between theory and praxis but discepancy between the spiritual needs of inmates on the one hand, and chaplaincy provisions on the other. The limitations may be subsumed under three broad headings: a) The inclination for prison chaplains to interpret spirituality in terms of a broader notion of ‘well-being’ and offer a service which tends to be standardized and subsequently ‘dumb down’ spirituality; b) The very diversity of spiritual paths undertaken by inmates which are negated by ‘a’ and; c) The characteristic arrangements of a prison as a ‘total institution’ that enhances the tendency of ‘a’ and mitigate against ‘b’ - the spiritual jouneying of prisoners.

In: Spirituality: Theory, Praxis and Pedagogy
Author: Stephen J. Hunt

This chapter considers the theory and praxis of spirituality in UK prisons via an analysis of their prescriptions and limitations. The broad aims of Her Majesty Prison chaplaincy service in England and Wales emphasise both rehabilitation and enhancement of the spiritual life of prisoners, the latter assumed to be an integral part of the former. In order to accomplish such aspirations substantial reforms have taken place in chaplaincy provisions. Most of these reforms were aimed at improving services in context of an increasingly multi-ethnic/faith society. Based upon research conducted in two prisons, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this chapter throws light on the impact of chaplaincy reforms, as well as reporting more generally on the spiritual life of prisoners of faith - permitting inmates a crucial voice. It will overview in particular those factors which lead to the flounder of reforms in practice and suggest a miss-match between not only between theory and praxis but discepancy between the spiritual needs of inmates on the one hand, and chaplaincy provisions on the other. The limitations may be subsumed under three broad headings: a) The inclination for prison chaplains to interpret spirituality in terms of a broader notion of ‘well-being’ and offer a service which tends to be standardized and subsequently ‘dumb down’ spirituality; b) The very diversity of spiritual paths undertaken by inmates which are negated by ‘a’ and; c) The characteristic arrangements of a prison as a ‘total institution’ that enhances the tendency of ‘a’ and mitigate against ‘b’ - the spiritual jouneying of prisoners.

In: Spirituality: Theory, Praxis and Pedagogy
In: Handbook of Global Contemporary Christianity
In: Pneuma
Editor: Stephen J. Hunt
The growth of the megachurch (generally defined as a regular attendance of over 2,000 people) is undoubtedly one of the most exceptional religious trends of recent times, certainly within the Christian sphere. Spreading from the USA, megachurches have now become common globally - reaching different national and cultural contexts. The edited volume Handbook of Megachurches offers a comprehensive account of the subject from various academic perspectives: sociology, religious studies, religious history and religious studies among them. Topics covered include: the historical developments and growth, typologies, theology, popular culture, revivalism, social engagement, and the manifestation of megachurches in such countries as Canada, Russia, India and Africa.