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"Jesus Saved an Ex-Con"Political Activism and Redemption after Incarceration$
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Edward Orozco Flores

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479884148

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479884148.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
"Jesus Saved an Ex-Con"

Edward Orozco Flores

NYU Press

This chapter presents the concept of prophetic redemption—expanding the boundaries of democratic inclusion to facilitate the social integration of those furthest on the margins—in relation to the formerly incarcerated. It frames the two cases in this book—the Community Renewal Society’s FORCE project and the LA Voice/Homeboy Industries–affiliated Homeboys Local Organizing Committee—as examples of prophetic redemption. It presents the book’s argument: that faith-based community organizing (for and among the formerly incarcerated) fosters pastoral and insurgent displays of prophetic redemption; that personal reform is an essential component of prophetic redemption; and that prophetic redemption produces returning citizenship. It sketches the historical origins and development of prophetic redemption in twentieth-century America in relation to new abolitionism, the Chicago School of sociology, the rise of the punitive state, the rise of Alinsky-style community organizing, and the racial and religious diversification of post-civil-rights community organizing efforts. It ends with a description of the book’s subjects (former gang members and the formerly incarcerated), a summary of how the author built relationships with his subjects, and an overview of the book’s goals and aims.

Keywords:   faith-based community organizing, formerly incarcerated persons, prophetic redemption, Chicago School, Alinsky

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