What is Prison Lectionary?
Prison Lectionary is a virtual space devoted to biblical interpretation by artists and authors incarcerated in jails or prisons in the United States. The purpose of this endeavor is two-fold. First, Prison Lectionary will provide a forum for the voices of prisoners, who are the most authoritative witnesses to the violence of the Prison Industrial Complex. Second, Prison Lectionary will serve as a repository of information for pastors and others as they study the Revised Common Lectionary texts or other Scriptures.
What is the Lectionary?
The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of weekly readings used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches in Canada and the United States. It is built around the seasons of the Church Year, and includes four readings for each Sunday, as well as additional readings for major holidays. During most of the year, the readings are: a reading from the Hebrew Bible, a Psalm, a reading from the Epistles, and a Gospel reading. During the season of Easter, the Hebrew Bible reading is usually replaced with one from the Acts of the Apostles.
Who may submit writing or artwork to Prison Lectionary?
Prison Lectionary will accept submissions from anyone incarcerated in the United States.
What kind of writings and art are welcome?
Prison Lectionary invites any interpretive writing or art that engages with a biblical text. Texts from the Revised Common Lectionary are assigned to specific authors, but anyone is welcome to choose a biblical passage and submit a one-page commentary, a drawing, a prayer, or a poem based on the text. In the future, we also plan to publish book reviews, poetry, devotions, and articles on prison ministry and the criminal justice system.
What kinds of writings or art WILL NOT be published on Prison Lectionary?
Prison Lectionary seeks to foster a safe and respectful space for dialogue around the Bible and issues related to Mass Incarceration. Therefore, Prison Lectionary WILL NOT publish anything that advocates violence or disrespects anyone on the basis of race, religion, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, political ideology, or physical condition.
How do artists and writers contribute work?
Prisoners must use this release form to submit their work: Prison Lectionary Release Form