Contemporary Western societies have grown so accustomed to the formal separation of religion and the state that it may come as a surprise that the distinction between sin and crime did not even enter into Western consciousness until early in the second millennium, and then only incrementally; and in many parts of the world, the idea that religion and the exercise of criminal justice exist on two different planes has only recently been considered, if at all. One can thus conclude that the common historical experience of the human species ...

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