Religion in Prison

Film screening of "If I Give My Soul" and interfaith conversation with Andrew Johnson and local prison chaplains

Date & Time:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
7:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 7:00 p.m.


Free and open to the public


Woulfe Alumni Hall North (378A), Anderson Student Center
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

Visitor parking

Click here for a map of visitor parking options

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

If I Give My Soul: Pentecostalism in the Prisons of Rio captures the powerful role religion plays in the prisons of Rio de Janeiro.  In particular, this film documents Andrew Johnson’s work on why Pentecostalism thrives among inmate populations and the social consequences of charismatic Christianity for prisoners.  Following the film screening, local prison chaplains -- Rabbi Lynn Liberman, Rashed Ferdous, and Robert A. Klanderud -- from the Jewish, Muslim, and Dakota and Lakota traditions will join Johnson in a discussion on the role of religion inside prisons in Minnesota and elsewhere.

Andrew Johnson, Ph.D., who will be scholar-in-residence for the Jay Phillips Center, currently teaches sociology at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and is a research associate for the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. He recently served as a visiting fellow for the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.  His publications include “Brazilian Evangelicals: Stepping out into the Streets?”"Brazil's Sleeping Giant: The Protestant Church," “Brazil’s Restorative Prisons” coauthored with Lorenn Walker and Katherine van Wormer in Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications (Sage, 2012), and the forthcoming “Politics of Presence: A Pentecostal Response to Violence in Prison in Rio de Janeiro” with the project Religion and Violence in Latin America at American University in Washington, D.C..  He earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Minnesota.

Rashed Ferdous, a speaker for the Islamic Resource Group, is involved in various interfaith activities in the Rochester area, including Interfaith Habitat for Humanity, Rochester Area Interfaith Youth Core, and the KSMQ weekly TV show "Diversity Connection: Faith Edition." A software engineer by profession, Rashed volunteers at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, a federal prison providing specialized medical and mental health care to for male inmates, the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, and the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing.‌ Minnesota. ‌‌‌‌

‌Robert A. Klanderud, of Dakota and Lakota heritage, is enrolled with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in Minnesota and is committed to both his Native and Christian traditions. He served for eight years for the Division of Indian Work and Minneapolis Council of Churches as a case worker in the Fathers Program, Strengthening Family Circles program, and mentorship program for incarcerated men.  He also served for eight years in the chaplaincy program of the department of corrections for Hennepin, Stearns, Steele, and Anoka counties.‌

Rabbi Lynn Liberman is a resident chaplain in Clinical Pastoral Education at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, an on-call chaplain at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, and a chaplain for the Mendota Heights and West St. Paul police and fire departments. She has worked in various educational settings and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Augsburg College. A board member of Nechama Jewish Response to Disaster, she is trained in Psychological First Aid and is a volunteer at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee where she served as an intern chaplain.  

Sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the Department of Justice and Peace Studies at St. Thomas, and the Spirituality Institute of the St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas School of Social Work .

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