Chapter

The Death Penalty

Avery Cardinal Dulles

in Church and Society

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228621
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236619 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823228621.003.0024
The Death Penalty

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This chapter examines the death penalty, looking into biblical data, Catholic tradition, the abolitionist position, critiques of abolitionism, the purposes of punishment, and the harm attributed to the death penalty. Among the major nations of the Western world, the United States is singular in still having the death penalty. However, some Catholics, going beyond the bishops and the pope, maintain that the death penalty, like abortion and euthanasia, is a violation of the right to life and an unauthorized usurpation by human beings of God's sole lordship over life and death. In conclusion, the chapter proposes ten theses regarding the death penalty based on the Church's doctrine.

Keywords: death penalty; right to life; abolitionism; punishment; biblical data

Chapter.  6252 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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