Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison

Book Cover, Down in the Chapel

Joshua Dubler’s Down in the Chapel opens with a scene of surprising calm for a book about maximum-security prisons. Al, a devout if extreme Protestant, and Baraka, a Warith Deen Mohammed Muslim, are debating the knowability of God’s intentions. Al thinks God is totally accessible, while Baraka disagrees. The two lightly bicker back and forth, but their tone is respectful. When asked how they remain so calm, Baraka jokes, “The creator made the world and said, ‘Have at it, fellas.’”

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