1st Edition

Transforming Shame
A Pastoral Response

ISBN 9780789021533
Published April 1, 2004 by Routledge
270 Pages

USD $32.95

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Book Description

Explore shame's revelatory and transformative potential within Christianity and the Church

Learn to understand shame to allow for positive change in your clients and parishioners. This book explores psychological, spiritual, and theological aspects of shame and shame's transformative potential. It will help pastoral care givers and mental health workers to identify shame issues and become agents of healing. By examining shame in the gospel accounts of the life, ministry, and death of Jesus, it shows that shame is a vital part of what defines us as human, and how shame can draw us into the mystery of our relationship with God.

From the author: “This book develops the thesis that shame is a necessary and ontological part of the human condition. Shame can become pathological, undergirding and dominating the entire personality, making it impossible to feel oneself either part of the collective or an individual in one's own right. Transformation of shame is a large part of the psychic meaning of the Christ event, what Christianity is about. Transformation of shame is the experience of grace. The great saints and icons of Christianity have used the Christ event to transform shame and experience grace. The more completely they have done this, the deeper their experience of unity with God.”

With Transforming Shame: A Pastoral Response, you'll explore:

  • the phenomenological meaning of shame
  • the psychological meaning, implications, and etiology of shame
  • shame in the context of scripture and Christian theology
  • the methodology for contextualizing theories of depth psychology in theology and religious experience
  • human defense mechanisms to shame
  • shame's usefulness in coming to a deeper understanding of personal identity
  • the role of the institutional church in helping its people find meaning in shame and experiencing the grace that comes from shame's transformation
  • how to address the Church's role in fostering toxic shame
With practical examples drawn from pastoral ministry and a thoughtful, interdisciplinary approach, this book will help you understand both the psychology and the spirituality of shame and make the essential connections between the two. Extensive references and a handy bibliography point the way to further reading on this fascinating subject.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Shame in the Gospel Accounts of the Life, Ministry, and Death of Jesus
  • Chapter 3. What Is Shame? Toward a Working Phenomenological Understanding
  • Chapter 4. The Revelatory Potential of Shame
  • Chapter 5. Defenses Against Shame
  • Chapter 6. Methodology in the Use of Depth Psychology in Theological Study and Ministry
  • The Minister’s Perspective
  • Chapter 7. Toward an Understanding of Shame from Perspectives of Depth Psychology
  • Freud’s References to Shame
  • A Map of the Landscape After Freud
  • Karen Horney’s “Pride System”
  • Alice Miller and “Poisonous Pedagogy”
  • Heinz Kohut’s Self-Psychology
  • Shame As Archetypal Experience: A Jungian Perspective
  • Chapter 8. Toward a Theology of Shame
  • “Where Can I Flee from Your Presence?”
  • The “Sick Soul”
  • The Paradox: Shame As Borderline Phenomenon Between Union and Separation
  • The Competing Urges Toward Union and Individuation
  • Some of Depth Psychology’s Accounts of Experiences of Union
  • The “Oceanic Feeling”
  • Some Contributions of Otto Rank
  • Contributions of Later Theorists on the Subject of Separation-Individuation
  • Shame and Biblical Witness
  • The New Testament’s Use of Shame
  • Chapter 9. Reflections on the Orientation of the Institutional Church and Its Ministers Toward the Meaning and Phenomenon of Shame
  • Ameliorating the Church’s Complicity in Fostering Toxic Shame
  • Pastoral Responses to Toxic Shame
  • Chapter 10. Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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