Affect Theory, Shame, and Christian Formation

Affect Theory, Shame, and Christian Formation

by Stephanie N. Arel

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2016)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319826141
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 06/28/2018
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2016
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Stephanie N. Arel received her PhD from Boston University’s School of Theology, USA, and is currently a fellow at the Institute for the Bio-cultural Study of Religion at Boston University. She serves on the Intercontinental Academia on Human Dignity, hosted jointly by Hebrew University, Israel, and Bielefeld University, Germany. She holds a certificate in trauma modalities for clinical treatment from the New York Institute for the Psychotherapies, USA. Her research focuses on trauma, shame, and Christian formation. She recently co-edited (with Shelly Rambo) a collection of essays entitled Post-Traumatic Public Theology.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. Interpreting Shame Affectively

3. The Cover-Up

4. Masked Shame

5. Touching Shame: A Pathway to Disinterment

6. Empathic Engagement

7. Conclusion




What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This multidisciplinary work builds a strong bridge linking theological understanding of the human person and pastoral care, especially focused on the phenomenon of shame. It uses current psychology, neuroscientific analysis, philosophy and social theory to show what shame is, how it resides down in the physiological self, and how Christian language and ritual has to be adjusted to address its distinctive character. Stephanie Arel penetrates deeply into where shame lives and by so doing has given us a work that will enrich the theological and pastoral work of the churches.” (Roger Haight, S.J., Union Theological Seminary, USA)


“The universal and existentially human experience of shame has not received the same theological interest as its – similar yet so different – twin sister guilt. Stephanie Arel’s thoughtful analysis of this largely unexplored territory combines biological, psychological, philosophical, and theological perspectives to develop a fuller understanding of shame. She shows how shame involves the self – body and mind – as well as the other and the Other. Building on intriguing conversations with Augustine, Bourdieu, Sedgwick, Reinhold Niebuhr, and many others, Arel opens up healing, powerful, and dangerous vistas of dealing with shame through touch, symbolized in the rituals of Ash Wednesday. Knowledge and wisdom merge in this very readable study.” (R.R. Ganzevoort, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)


“Through this richly textured analysis of shame, Arel positions herself alongside the great theological diagnosticians of the human condition. In Affect Theory, Shame, and Christian Formation, she builds a case for the reexamination of Christian practices that are attuned to the operations of shame, both individually and collectively. With clinical acumen and rhetorical sharpness, Arel guides readers across an impressive range of literatures and displays the importance of a theological voice in timely discussions about conflict and violence. “ (Shelly Rambo, Boston University School of Theology, USA)

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