Dr. Skotnicki awarded the 2019 Aldersgate Prize


Indiana Wesleyan University’s John Wesley Honors Colleges awards the Aldersgate Prize each year to a book and author whose work “challenges reductionistic trends in academia by yielding a broad, integrative analysis of life’s complexities and by shedding fresh light on ultimate questions that enliven historic Christian conceptions of human flourishing.” This year, Dr. Andrew Skotnicki of the Manhattan College Department of Religious Studies was the winner of this prestigious award for his new book Conversion and the Rehabilitation of the Penal System: A Theological Rereading of Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press, 2019).

In this book, Dr. Skotnicki challenges the oppressive and confinement practices of the American penal system. He argues that punishment has no place in the criminal justice system and reminds the reader of the original intention of the practice of confinement: conversion. Dr. Skotnicki emphasizes innate human goodness as reasoning for the possibility of conversion through affirmative policies rather than punishment and maltreatment.

In late October, Indiana Wesleyan University hosted a keynote lecture by Dr. Skotnicki as part of their online Faculty Accomplishment Symposium. He spoke of his own experiences of conversion, the ways he got involved with the prison system, and his imagination of a world and a justice system free of punishment and full of assumptions of achievable conversion. Access his amazing talk here.