• Connecting shame and vulnerability to Scripture and Christian theology
• Taps into the popularity of Brene' Brown and Richard Rohr topics
• Study guide included
Shame severs our relationship from God. It is so powerful that it often results in denial, apathy, and even a self-defensive wrath toward neighbor. At the same time, shame may drive us to discover the true source of our dignity beyond our isolated and broken self. The arc of the biblical narrative takes us from the fig leaves of Adam and Eve, who desire to hide from God and each other, to the liberation from self-consciousness that Jesus displays at the Last Supper, which can be seen as "undoing" the shame of Adam and Eve.
Shame is the experience that can bring us close to the experience of the Cross, the place of simultaneous condemnation and liberation. By examining the biblical stories of shame and some personal and public stories of shame and of being shamed, Hirschfeld delves into this emotional and spiritual phenomenon to mine what shame has to teach. Shame cannot be erased, but God does not want us to be stuck in it. Working through our shame can lead us to a deeper sense of joy and freedom so we can, as the Proper Preface for Advent says, "without shame or fear rejoice to behold [Christ's] appearing?"
Audience: Individuals: clergy, lay, spiritual directors; pastoral care leaders; Uses: adult education classes, Lenten or Advent small group study, spiritual direction groups; recovery groups (alcoholism, sexual abuse, etc.)