This is a foundational course with the key aim to help students explore the theological vision of some foundational theorists in the study of restorative justice. It begins with an exploration of the theological and historical foundations of Restorative Justice Theory and Practices and explores a brief overview of key Christian contributors to restorative justice theory.
The course helps students hold love and justice together and guard themselves and the community they live in against thinking of justice as an abstraction, separate from its function as a relationship-building and life-sustaining force.
By studying this course student build confidence and commitment to enacting justice in their everyday lives while connecting their knowledge with practical discipleship as a way of living faith as they restore lives and relationships broken apart by injustice in the modern world.
The course uses the Bible as a key point of reference in which the Bible identifies God’s love with God’s justice. It seeks to enable students to embody key aspects of a different biblical-theological vision in their current and future intentional community life.
Contemporary links between faith communities and restorative justice initiatives are, nevertheless, substantial and fundamental. Restorative themes have enjoyed a long history in Christianity and will continue to inform ‘restorative’ practices, empowering and enlivening justice practitioners generally.
Given the fact that we inhabit an unjust world, in which so few monopolize the majority of the earth’s resources, this course brings with it a call to commitment for students to live and act more and more justly and to advocate for justice whenever and wherever injustice holds sway.
From an intercultural perspective, the course explores the needs and roles of key stakeholders in their diverse cultures by outlining the basic principles and values of Restorative Justice and introducing some of the primary models of practice.
As the course seeks to explore Restorative Justice as a way of seeking justice in all contexts and as a way of life, the practical side of it is to help students discern the future role in promoting and practicing a justice that meets the needs of victims, offenders, and communities.
The course is highly experiential, and all students have ample opportunities to study cases applied to the practice of restorative principles to help them understand their role in transforming and serving in restorative circles, victim-offender dialogues, and the local church.