Volume 41, Issue Supplement, 2016
Selected Papers in Honor of William P. Alston
The Atonement and the Problem of Shame
The atonement has been traditionally understood to be a solution to the problem created by the human proneness to moral wrongdoing. This problem includes both guilt and shame. Although the problem of human guilt is theologically more central to the doctrine of the atonement, the problem of shame is something that the atonement might be supposed to remedy as well if it is to be a complete antidote to the problems generated by human wrongdoing. In this paper, I discuss the difference between guilt and shame; I explore the different varieties of shame, and I suggest ways to connect the atonement to a remedy for all the kinds of shame.