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Shame and the Church

Exploring and Transforming Practice

Shame and the Church

Exploring and Transforming Practice

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334058847
Published: 28/02/2020

Shame is a much misunderstood and often misdiagnosed problem. There have been times when the church has even been the cause of shame. How, then, do we create a less shaming church?

Shame and the Church presents a six fold typology of shame: personal, communal, relational, structural, theological and historical. Seeking to establish the causes and consequences of shame, chapters explore how theology and the Bible engage with shame, and consider personal firsthand accounts of shame in a church context. 

Wise, challenging, practical and underpinned by a rigorous theological foundation, this book is an important contribution to the conversation around shame and effacement in church contexts and at the same time a vital aid to practice.

Acknowledgements vii

Preface ix

How to Use this Book xi

Part 1 Defining Shame 1

1. Defining Shame and a Typology of Shame in the Church 3

2. Biblical Perspectives on Shame 20

3. Personal Shame 36

4. Communal Shame 56

5. Relational, Structural, Theological and Historical Shame 69

Part 2 Confronting Shame 89

6. Shame, Liturgy and Ritual 91

7. Pastoral Care with Those Experiencing Shame 123

8. Shame in Teaching and Learning 141

9. Creating a Less Shaming Church 153

Appendix 1: Defining Shame in Relation to the Literature 169

Appendix 2: Overview of Themes from the Research in Relation to the Typology 175

References and Further Reading 178

Index of Bible References 188

Index of Names and Subjects 190

Sally Nash

Revd Dr Sally Nash is Director of the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission. She is passionate about equipping people for ministry and teaches, writes and researches in youth and children’s work, spiritual care and contextual ministry.

"This book explores the contours of shame in an attempt to liberate individuals and the church from this evil. It is a brilliant work, both theoretical and practical, and a must-read for church leaders, for all who have experienced shame, and for anyone who desires to better understand this dark side of the human condition." -- Chad Meister, Bethel University, USA

"The author's skilful weaving together of personal story and practical theology presents clearly the deeply destructive nature of shame as well as the way of hope and healing. This book is written from a desire to see the church resist inherent patterns of shaming and free people to be all that God created them to be. I commend it wholeheartedly to those working through the experience of shame themselves, as well as leaders seeking greater self-awareness in their pastoral practice. -- The Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston