Shame: A Faith Perspective

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Psychology Press, 1995 - Religion - 148 pages
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In this new guidebook, designated as one of the Top Ten Books of the Year for 1996 by The Journal of the Academy of Parish Clergy, author Robert H. Albers provides both an analysis of and a Biblical and theological reflection upon the human experience of disgrace shame. Albers approaches the subject from a pastoral perspective from which he makes suggestions on how this phenomenon can be dealt with from the background of a faith tradition. He develops and explores new and existing valuable conceptual and pastoral resources to aid people in dealing effectively with the debilitating experiences of disgrace shame.

Shame: A Faith Perspective is unique in that it incorporates deliberate theological reflection upon the human experience of disgrace shame. Its value is in ”naming” this phenomenon, analyzing it, and identifying the resources for dealing effectively with this experience. It assists clergy and counselors in identifying this phenomenon and provides conceptual and practical suggestions on how to deal most effectively with disgrace shame. Clergy as well as laypeople can find answers to their questions about the nature of shame and become better equipped to facilitate the process of healing.

Utilizing the findings of social sciences, the author provides specific information on shame including:
  • Distinctions between shame and guilt
  • Distinctions between ”discretionary” shame and ”disgrace” shame
  • Identification of the dynamics of disgrace shame
  • Analysis of the defenses used in dealing with disgrace shame
  • Identification of the resources available from the Judeo-Christian tradition in reflecting theologically on the issue of disgrace shame
  • Suggestions for ways in which disgrace shame might be dismantled from the perspective of faith

    For parish pastors and priests, counselors and therapists, seminary professors teaching pastoral care, and nonordained people within the Christian community, Shame: A Faith Perspective provides a theologically informed method for addressing issues of disgrace shame. Readers can begin to distinguish between guilt and shame in human experience, search out theological resources for understanding, and learn to deal effectively with the experience of disgrace shame.

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Jans Story
Chapter One The Nature of Shame
Chapter Two Distinctions Between Guilt and Shame
Chapter Three The Dynamics of Shame
Chapter Four Defending Against Shame
Chapter Five Theological Resources from the Faith
Chapter Six Dismantling the Shame and Embracing
Hope as Constitutive
Community as Healing Agent

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About the author (1995)

Robert H. Albers, PhD, MDiv, is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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