This course explores the influence of race and class on the U.S. criminal justice system. As a multidisciplinary course, we will critically explore the ethical and theological issues raised by mass incarceration with analysis grounded in the current social and political context. We will seek to better understand why the world’s largest penal apparatus punishes and controls primarily poor people and people of color. We will consider the role of crime rates, conscious and unconscious biases, legal rules, law enforcement practices, and the theological resources that might be summoned for resistance. We will explore what it means to understand the “correctional” system in theological tones.  How has religion contributed to the formation of race as an idea? What does a theology of praxis have to say about redemption and liberation, hope and transformation? Under what conditions, and in which theological terms, is hope possible for those marginalized by the carceral system and who experience social death?