Defending Shame

Its Formative Power in Paul’s Letters

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Our culture often views shame and shaming in a negative light. However, Paul's use of shame, when properly understood and applied, has much to teach the contemporary church.

Filling a lacuna in Pauline scholarship, Defending Shame shows how Paul uses shame to admonish and to transform the minds of his readers into the mind of Christ. The author examines Paul's use of shame for moral formation within his Jewish and Greco-Roman context, compares and contrasts Paul's use of shame with other cultural voices, and offers a corrective understanding for today's church. The book explores how Paul's moral psychology of shame can guide believers to live lives that honor not only God but also their calling as children of God. It also includes a foreword from Luke Timothy Johnson.


Foreword by Luke Timothy Johnson
Part 1: Framework
1. Definitional Background
2. Greco-Roman Backgrounds
3. Jewish Backgrounds
Part 2: Exegesis
4. Paul's Use of Retrospective Shame
5. Paul's Use of Prospective Shame
6. Constructing Paul's Use of Shame
Part 3: Cultural Engagement
7. Contemporary Contribution
8. Contemporary Challenges

The Author

  1. Te-Li Lau

    Te-Li Lau

    Te-Li Lau (PhD, Emory University) is associate professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught for over ten years. He is also the author of The Politics of Peace: Ephesians, Dio Chrysostom, and...

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