good fear, guilt and shame

There are obvious reasons why fear, guilt and shame have a bad reputation inside and outside the Church.  There is really no need to illustrate this point, but… Fear of judgment, rejection or punishment can be crippling. Guilt that is exaggerated, overly-negative or simply mistaken is paralyzing. Shame, too, when it is insulting, degrading and… Continue reading good fear, guilt and shame

shame and suicide

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the recent loss of loved television presenter Greg Boyed has raised again the topic of depression and suicide.  Aotearoa, the “land of the long white cloud” has high suicide rates, particularly for teens aged 15-19, where it is the highest.  Too many of us have loved ones that have brought this… Continue reading shame and suicide

varieties of shame

Following on from the last post, I’ve been thinking more about possibly helpful – or at least unavoidable – forms of shame. First, I want to acknowledge just how unhelpful some forms of shame can be.  I think shame is most unhelpful when it focuses on the person and not the behaviour.  “You should be ashamed of… Continue reading varieties of shame

on guilt and shame

It seems to be an unquestioned assumption in modern western culture that guilt and shame are bad, unhealthy and unhelpful.  Most of the moral discourse is dominated by statements that flow directly from these assumptions. I can relate!  Who wants to feel guilty?  Who enjoys shame?  Not only that, both guilt and shame are shot… Continue reading on guilt and shame

hegemony, homosexuality & homophobia

(Leftovers from a great and long chat with a good man today.) Almost 100 years ago, Antonio Gramsci proposed the idea of “cultural hegemony” where a powerful idea or culture carries immense and controlling force.  One key indicator that a hegemony is at work is when dissenting voices are kept silent out of fear. A conservative… Continue reading hegemony, homosexuality & homophobia