Andrew Skotnicki

Professor, Religious Studies


B.A. History, Marquette University

M.A. Ecclesiastical History, Washington Theological Union

Ph.D Religion and Society, Graduate Theological Union

Courses Taught

RELS 110     The Nature and Experience of Religion

RELS 232     Catholic Moral Theology

RELS 233     Contemporary Christian Ethics

RELS 399     Criminal Justice Ethics







  • Research

    Primary research is in the theological and moral implications of Criminal Justice.  General interests are in the areas of Christian Social Ethics and the Sociology of Religion.

  • Publications and Scholarly Activities


    • 2022 Injustice and Prophecy in the Age of Mass Incarceration The Politics of Sanity (Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press) 
    • 2019 Conversion and the Rehabilitation of the Penal System: A Theological Rereading of Criminal Justice (New York: Oxford) 
    • 2012 The Last Judgment: Christian Ethics in a Legal Culture (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate)      
    • 2008 Criminal Justice and the Catholic Church (Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield)                      
    • 2000 Religion and the Development of the American Penal System (Lanham MD: University Press of America)

    Chapters and Entries in Edited Volumes:

    • 2023 "Philosophy Applied to Criminal Justice: Reason, Barbarism, and a Punishing Society" with Eoin O'Connell in Neil Wolman and Carolyn J. Love, eds. Reinventing Society with Philosophy, Religion, and Science (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press)
    • 2020 "Persecuting the Prophets: Inequality, Insanity, and Incarceration" in Andrew Millie, ed. Public Theology and Criminology (Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press) 
    • 2018 "A Theological Critique of the Correctional System" in Kent R. Kerly, ed. Finding Freedom in Confinement (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger)
    • 2017 "College Student Discipline and Catholic Identity" (co-authored with Colette Geary) in Sandra M. Estanek et al, eds. Student Life in Catholic Higher Education (Washington, DC: Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities)
    • 2017 "Catholicism in Prisons" in Kent R.. Kerley, ed. Encyclopedia of Corrections (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell)
    • 2015 "An Institution in Search of Meaning" in William Cook, ed. Religion and Criminal Justice (San Diego, Cognella)

    • 2014 "Religious Convictions" in Bruce A. Arrigo and J. Geoffrey Golson, eds. Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice Ethics (Thouaand Oaks, CA: Sage)
    • 2012 “The Bible” in Wilbur Miller and J. Geoffrey Golson, eds. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage)

    • 2012 “The History of Religion and Crime” in Wilbur Miller and J. Geoffrey Golson, eds. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage)

    •  2002 "Evaluating Religious Initiatives in a Correctional Settings:  Do Inmates Speak?"  in T.P. O'Connor and N.J. Palone, eds. Religion, the Community,  and the Rehabilitation of Criminal Offenders (New York:  Haworth Press)

    • 2000 "The True and Only Discourse" in Maeve McMahon, ed. Assessment to Assistance: Programs for Women in Community Corrections (Lanham MD: American Correctional  Association)


    • 2023 "Purely Penal Law: A Reconsideration" Theological Studies (Volume 84. No. 4)
    • 2023 "The Devil is in the Details: The Catholic Church and Criminal Justice" Journal of Catholic Social Thought (Volume 20, No. 1)
    • 2016 "Punishment and the Limits of Love" Journal of Catholic Social Thought (Volume 13, No. 2)       
    • 2014 "Religion, Conversion, and Rehabilitation" Criminal Justice Ethics (Volume 33, No. 2)                     
    • 2012 "The Measure with which We Measure" Christian Reflection   
    • 2012 "The Ethics of Prison Labor" Journal of Catholic Social Thought (Volume 9, No. 1)                    
    • 2009 “By the Secret Ladder: Christian Mysticism and the Liberation of the Imprisoned” Theology Today (Volume 66, No. 1) 
    • 2008  “Law, Judgment, and Catholic Social Ethics” Journal of Catholic Higher Education (Volume 27, No. 1)                                                            
    • 2006 "How Is Justice Restored?" Studies in Christian Ethics (Volume 12, No. 2)                              
    • 2006 "God's Prisoners: Penal Confirement and the Creation of Purgatory" Modern Theology (Volume 22, No. 1)                                           
    • 2004 "Foundations Once Destroyed: The Catholic Church and Criminal Justice." Theological Studies (Volume 65, No. 4)                                        
    • 2004 "The Prison Chaplain and the Mission of the Church" New Theology Review (Volume 17, No. 2)   
    • 2003 "Contemplation and Criminal Justice" Studies in Spirituality (Volume 13)                             
    • 2002 "The U.S. Catholic Bishops on Crime and Criminal Justice" Josephenum Journal of Theology (Volume 9, No. 1)                                     
    • 2002 "Do Inmates Speak?" Journal of Offender Rehabilitation (Volume 34, Nos. 3-4)                      
    • 2001 "Inner City Poverty and the Ethic of Accompaniment" Louvain Studies (Volume 26, No. 1)           
    • 2001 "Crime, Conscience and Inner City Ethics" Josephenum Journal of Theology (Volume 8, No. 2)    
    • 1999 "Continuity and Change in the Pursuit of Criminal Justice" The ICCA Journal on Community Corrections (Volume 9, No. 1)                                
    • 1998 "The U.S. Catholic Church and Criminal Justice" New Theology Review (Volume 11, No. 1)        
    • 1996 "Religion and Rehabilitation" Criminal Justice Ethics (Volume 15, No. 2)                                    
    • 1995 "Religion and Community Corrections" The IARCA Journal (Volume VI, No. 6)

    Other Publications:

    • 2023 "The Politics of Prayer in Prison, Canopy Form: On the Interaction of Law and Religion (availabe online:
    • 2016 “Education as Social Transformation,” Religious Studies News: Spotlight on Teaching (available online:

    • 2015 Book Review of Esther D. Reed, “Theology for International Law,” Modern Believing (Volume 56, No. 1)

    • 2014 “The Prison Class” America (Volume 210, No. 8)

    • 2012 Book Review of Jocelyn Maclure and Charles Taylor, “Secularism and Freedom of Conscience” Journal of Catholic Higher Education (available online                  
    • 2009 Book Review of James Samuel Logan, “Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment”  Modern Theology (Volume 25, No. 2)
    • 2008 Book Review of Jonathan Rothchild, Matthew Myer Boulton, and Kevin Jung, eds., “Doing Justice to Mercy: Religion, Law, and Criminal Justice,” Theological Studies (Volume 69, No. 4)           
    • 2008 Book Review of Terry L. Leap, “Dishonest Dollars: The Dynamics of White Collar Crime," Markets and Morality (Volume II, No.1)                       
    • 2003 Book Review of T. Richard Snyder "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Punishment," New Theology Review (Volume 16, No. 1)                 
    •  2002 Book Review of Charles E. Curran, "Catholic Social Teaching 1891-Present," National Catholic Reporter (Volume 38, no. 13)                             
    •  2002 Book Review of Mark Lewis Taylor, "The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America", New Theology Review (Volume 15, no. 3)                                                               
    • 2002 Book Review of Michael E. Budde and Robert W. Brainlow, eds. "The Church as Counterculture," New Theology Review (Volume 15, no. 2)       
    •  1995 "Another Night in Paradise," Harvest (Volume 28, No. 1)