Skip to content

Seminary For the Rest of Us

Seminary for the Rest of Us Artwork

Thinking about Atonement Theology with Hannah Bowman

May 25, 2021

Show Notes

Currently in our USA context, our so-called justice system is heavily punitive, and uses people, particularly black and brown folks, as its scapegoats. Might penal substitutionary atonement theology have something to do with this? In our conversation, Hannah explains how we can rethink substitutionary atonement theology in a non-punitive sense, and use Jesus' solidarity with victims and perpetrators of harm in the crucifixion to anchor abolition theology and thus the transformative and restorative justice from which it flows. Let's also think about how the resurrection plays into this.

Hannah Bowman is a graduate student in Religious Studies at Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles, a literary agent, and a prison abolitionist. The founder and director of Christians for the Abolition of Prisons, she writes and teaches on the Christian theology supporting abolition; she is also a circle coordinator for the Los Angeles pilot Circles of Support and Accountability restorative-justice prison re-entry program, in collaboration with the Fresno Community Justice Center.

Seminary for the Rest of Us, a tiny podcast where everyone is welcome to God-talk, is produced by Sabrina Reyes-Peters, was occasionally sound engineered by Mason Mennenga, and is web engineered by Charlie Peters.

The theme music is by Matthew Scott. Support: us on Twitter and Instagram @seminaryshow Email:


Music by Matthew Scott

Special thanks to Mason Mennenga, who mixed the show, and to Charlie, who needs to give all of these development projects a rest and get some sleep.