A Breath of Fresh Air: Biblical Storytelling with Prisoners challenges the behemoth of mass incarceration through the convergence of biblical storytelling pedagogy, restorative justice principles, and peacemaking circle structure. It introduces a method of spiritual formation through biblical storytelling which I have named “Circle of the Word.”
Circle of the Word is an interactive, creative process of engagement with biblical stories. It is a spiritual intervention that addresses an American criminal justice system that is retributive, discriminatory, and out of control. A Breath of Fresh Air reports on the impact of Circle of the Word for incarcerated men and women.
Circle of the Word is grounded in a multifaceted foundation: the study of the Bible as performance literature, the history of prison reform in Enlightenment England, the doctrine of the Word of God, and the development of hope theory.
Since the purpose of the book is both advocacy and empowerment, a how-to chapter is included with details for implementation. Participation in Circle of the Word has proven to be a transformative experience for men and women directly impacted by mass incarceration where they discover community in the midst of isolation and hope in the midst of despair.