For several years, I taught general humanities courses – literature, philosophy, history – in a university program offered to inmates in a Texas state prison facility in Rosharon, Texas. Students in the prison earned bachelor or master degrees in humanities from University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Which is why I find interesting the recent data on religion among prison inmates published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The study relies on interviews with prison chaplains – not with inmates themselves – and reveals several major themes among inmates, including: the high rate of switching between religions, the common activity of proselytizing, the relatively high rate of religious extremism (defined mostly as religious/racial/ethnic/social intolerance and adherence to strict dogma) and a few other things.
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