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The Prison System in the Czech Republic and the Role of Religion in the Post-communist Era

Citace:
VÁNĚ, J., DIRGA, L. The Prison System in the Czech Republic and the Role of Religion in the Post-communist Era. Porto; Portugal, 2015.
Druh: PŘEDNÁŠKA, POSTER
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: The Prison System in the Czech Republic and the Role of Religion in the Post-communist Era
Rok vydání: 2015
Autoři: Doc. PhDr. Jan Váně Ph.D. , Mgr. Lukáš Dirga
Abstrakt EN: The contribution focuses on the transformation of religion and its position and significance in Czech post-communist prisons as seen by three groups of respondents: prison inmates, prison guards and representatives of a number of Churches. The study is based on an ethnographic study of prisons in the Czech Republic. The data corpus includes qualitative interviews with selected actors in the prison world (prison guards, prison chaplains, prison inmates), material gathered through observation inside the prisons and an analysis of the documentation on the Czech penitentiary system. Through this research, we found that the key respondents feel that religion holds a rather ambivalent position in the Czech prison system and that the inmates? pragmatic approach to faith becomes a rather controversial issue. Prison guards show almost no interest in religion, adopting a negative stance toward it or else conceiving it as a foreign element that is being imposed from the ?above?. The prison chaplains, onto the contrary, interpret their presence as positively beneficial, observing that their work (and religion) would have a greater impact on the prison system if the prison management and prison guards became less resistant and passive when it comes to their pastoral effort. As for the prison inmates, their attitude towards the faith during the time they are serving the sentence is of double nature: on the one hand, there is a group of those the faith of whom can be defined as pragmatic. On the other hand, there are those who consider faith as a key element on their way to redemption and life style change. Our research has thus shown that the presence of religion in prison is not really accepted in a decisively positive way as may be thought at the first sight.
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