Beyond the Walls of Separation
von Brandner, Tobias
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Beyond the Walls of Separation is an essential and easy-to-read guidebook for chaplains and volunteers working in the context of prison, and for all those who are professionally or through family links related to those in prison. The book tells the story of what life behind bars is, and how inmates experience transformation through Christian faith: People at the crisis points of their life, where they are shattered, and where little is left of what made them, may experience life as fragile and as a transparent filter for the mysterious. Yet they also may experience God's life-giving presence. Love, expressed in forgiveness--against all odds, against all merits and previous experiences--lies at the root of many stories of transformation that emerge from prison.
The book guides visitors to approach inmates without condescension, with an awareness of the social dimension of power and inequality, and with sensitivity to the suffering and alienation that individual prisoners experience. The many years of prison ministry in different cultural contexts and with inmates from all nations have taught the author that Christ does not need to be brought to prison through visitors, through evangelistic events, or through Christian outreach. He is already powerfully present in prison.
""Life in prison strips away humanity and causes physical and mental pain that lasts beyond imprisonment. This book suggests ways to help prisoners nurture spiritual life. Having served as a prison chaplain for many years, the author has gained deep understanding of life behind bars and turns his insights into useful suggestions. This book provides easily understandable advice for prison ministry and is an ideal guide for reaching out to people suffering in custody.""
--Ching Cheong, journalist and former political prisoner detained in the People's Republic of China
""Beyond the Walls of Separation offers a unique combination of the gospel message, insights of psychology, and a long experience of caring and loving ministry to those in prison. Had I learned about the 'five essential qualities of a visitor' before my prison ministry, I would have certainly done a better job. This book will be a practical and helpful guide for both professional and lay visitors to those in prison.""
--Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, SDB, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
""Beyond the Walls of Separation is the most practical and thought-provoking study of prison ministry I have read. . . . Brandner's perspective is firmly rooted in his years of work with prison inmates, chaplains, officers, and ministry volunteers. This book resonates with wisdom and insight grounded in personal experience. Beyond the Walls of Separation is an important contribution to the cause of Christian mission in the prisons of the world, and is invaluable as an academic and practical training resource.""
--Ronald W. Nikkel, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship International
Tobias Brandner (PhD, University of Zurich, Switzerland) is a minister of the Swiss Reformed Church and of the Hong Kong Tsung Tsin Mission. For the past twenty years, he has been working in prisons in Europe and Asia--first in Switzerland and since 1997 in Hong Kong. He is also an Assistant Professor of Church History, Missiology, and Ecumenism at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
0.231 x 0.157 x 0.025 m; 0.476 kg