Understanding Transformational Space: An Analysis of Restorative Justice Conferences through Religious Studies Theoretical Lenses

An article I wrote titled “Understanding transformational space: an analysis of restorative justice conferences through religious studies theoretical lenses” has been published in the latest issue of Restorative Justice: An International Journal.

You can access a copy of the article here. This link will provide free access for the first 50 people. If the link is no longer working, send me an email and I will be happy to email you a pdf of the article.


Implemented after a crime occurs, restorative justice conferences create a transformational space where victim and offender can move from feelings of enmity towards reconciliation and healing, and where the community can be repaired. This paper is an analysis of restorative justice conferences through the theoretical lenses of religious studies, in an endeavour to better understand the transformational space created by these conferences. Mircea Eliade’s comparative approach allows for a comparison between the transformative space of restorative justice conferences and processes and structures yielding similar space. An analysis through Victor Turner’s theoretical lens reveals the way in which restorative justice conferences closely resemble religious ritual through the presence of liminality and communitas. The utilisation of the Emile Durkheim functionalist lens allows for the functional similarities of restorative justice conferences to religious ritual to be highlighted.

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