Focused on the intersection of Christianity and politics in the American penitentiary system, Jennifer Graber explores evangelical Protestants’ efforts to make religion central to emerging practices and philosophies of prison discipline from the 1790s through the 1850s.
“Stated simply, Jennifer Graber has given us the most sophisticated and comprehensive history of prisons and religion in early America that has ever been written. Eloquent, powerful, and riveting, The Furnace of Affliction is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the painful history of prisons and incarceration in the early republic.”
–Harry S. Stout, Yale University
“Jennifer Graber’s provocative, important, and thoughtful book illuminates the history of the intersection of religious beliefs and practices with the U.S. penitentiary. Her work will become the leading account of that troubled relationship.” — Michael Meranze, University of California, Los Angeles