Jane Addams on Peace, Crime, and Religion

Connie D. Frey, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

This paper examines two questions: first, should Addams be recognized as a founding sister of peacemaking criminology in the U.S.?; and second, is her effect still present in contemporary peacemaking criminology? Before I address these questions, however, I outline Addams' fundamental conceptions of crime and peace, as well as the role of religion in her life and works. I use archival methods to study the histories of sociology, criminology, and peace studies, specifically Addam's role in all three. From here, I discuss of feminist pragmatist theory, a theory that Addams subscribed to as well as the theory that I employ here to understand and frame her work. What follows is a brief discussion of Addams' biography, including general information, relationships and memberships in various religious and peacekeeping organizations, sociological influences, and, finally, Tolstoy's and Ghandi's influence. I present Addams' theory of crime using prostitution and juvenile delinquency as examples, and her work on peace before and after World War I, with a follow-up overview of contemporary peacemaking scholarship, particularly the writings of Quinney and Pepinsky. Finally, the three primary components of crime, religion, and peace are synthesized and implications for contemporary criminology and criminal justice practices are suggested.

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Updated 05/20/2006