Against Evangelism in Academic Criminology: For Criminology as a Scientific Art
This chapter argues that because academic criminology is a scientific art, it is unfortunate that three of the most exciting perspectives in criminology today — those academy-based criminologies which have variously self-branded as ‘critical’, ‘cultural’, or ‘public’ — at times reveal evangelistic tendencies that pose a threat to their capacity for the open debate that each of them espouses. Other brandname academic criminologies have, over the years, been frequently endangered by the same tendencies but, because of the promise and dangers inherent in their twin allegiances to both academic criminology and criminology politics, and also because of the desirability of such socio-political commitments, if criminology as a scientific art is to have any social significance, it is important that the evangelistic strains in critical, cultural, and public criminologies should be confronted. They are the least desirable and potentially most self-damaging, aspects of the best of contemporary academic criminology.
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