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Beyond the Walls of Separation
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Beyond the Walls of Separation


Wipf & Stock 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

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Gathering Interest


Beyond the Walls of Separation is an essential and easy-to-read guidebook for chaplains and volunteers working in the context of prison, and for all those who are professionally or through family links related to those in prison. The book tells the story of what life behind bars is, and how inmates experience transformation through Christian faith: people at the crisis points of their life, where they are shattered, and where little is left of what made them, may experience life as fragile and as a transparent filter for the mysterious. Yet they also may experience God’s life-giving presence. Love, expressed in forgiveness—against all odds, against all merits and previous experiences—lies at the root of many stories of transformation that emerge from prison.

The book guides visitors to approach inmates without condescension, with an awareness of the social dimension of power and inequality, and with sensitivity to the suffering and alienation that individual prisoners experience. The many years of prison ministry in different cultural contexts and with inmates from all nations have taught the author that Christ does not need to be brought to prison through visitors, through evangelistic events, or through Christian outreach. He is already powerfully present in prison.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Offers a guide to being an effective visitor in the prison ministry
  • Provides ways to encourage prisoners in their spiritual lives
  • Highlights the attributes that are important for those in the prison ministry
  • Includes a glimpse of life as an inmate
  • Demonstrates God’s presence in prisons


  • Life in Prison
  • Prison and Offender Rehabilitation—Then and Now
  • Religion and Spirituality in the Context of Imprisonment
  • Christian Faith and Spiritual Transformation in Prison
  • Christian Care for Prisoners: Chaplains and Lay Visitors
  • A Communication Guide to the Visiting Ministry
  • Roles and Relationships: Visiting in an Unequal Context
  • Prison Ministry as a Social Ministry
  • Towards a Theology of Prison Ministry

Praise for the Print Edition

Life in prison strips away humanity and causes physical and mental pain that lasts beyond imprisonment. This book suggests ways to help prisoners nurture spiritual life. Having served as a prison chaplain for many years, the author has gained deep understanding of life behind bars and turns his insights into useful suggestions. This book provides easily understandable advice for prison ministry and is an ideal guide for reaching out to people suffering in custody.

—Ching Cheong, journalist, former political prisoner detained in the People’s Republic of China

Beyond the Walls of Separation offers a unique combination of the gospel message, insights of psychology, and a long experience of caring and loving ministry to those in prison. Had I learned about the ‘five essential qualities of a visitor’ before my prison ministry, I would have certainly done a better job. This book will be a practical and helpful guide for both professional and lay visitors to those in prison.

—Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, SDB, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

Beyond the Walls of Separation is the most practical and thought-provoking study of prison ministry I have read. . . . Brandner’s perspective is firmly rooted in his years of work with prison inmates, chaplains, officers, and ministry volunteers. This book resonates with wisdom and insight grounded in personal experience. Beyond the Walls of Separation is an important contribution to the cause of Christian mission in the prisons of the world, and is invaluable as an academic and practical training resource.

—Ronald W. Nikkel, president and CEO, Prison Fellowship International

Product Details

  • Title: Beyond the Walls of Separation: Christian Faith and Ministry in Prison
  • Author: Tobias Brandner
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 234
  • Christian Group: Reformed
  • Resource Type: Practical Life
  • Topic: Chaplain Ministry

About Tobias Brandner

Tobias Brandner (PhD, University of Zurich, Switzerland) is a minister of the Swiss Reformed Church and of the Hong Kong Tsung Tsin Mission. For the past 20 years, he has been working in prisons in Europe and Asia—first in Switzerland and since 1997 in Hong Kong. He is also an assistant professor of church history, missiology, and ecumenism at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition