Healthy shame? An interchange between Elspeth Probyn and Thomas Aquinas
Ryan, T. (2008). Healthy shame? An interchange between Elspeth Probyn and Thomas Aquinas. Australian eJournal of Theology, 12 (1).
In her recent book Blush: Faces of Shame, Elspeth Probyn offers a profile of shame drawing on the disciplines of psychology, sociology and cultural anthropology. She argues that shame is a) inherently value-oriented, b) necessary for human well-being and c) universal or essential as a human phenomenon. This approach to shame has significant resonances with the theological anthropology and christian ethics of Thomas Aquinas. In exploring these authors, we can gain a clearer picture of the transformative function of shame in the personal, social, cultural and moral dimensions of human life.