Virginia Burrus explores one of many most powerful and most annoying facets of the Christian culture, its over the top preoccupation with disgrace. whereas Christianity has often been implicated within the conversion of historical Mediterranean cultures from disgrace- to guilt-based, and therefore within the emergence of the trendy West's emphasis on guilt, Burrus seeks to get better the significance of disgrace for Christian tradition. targeting overdue antiquity, she explores quite a number interesting phenomena, from the flowery performances of martyrs to the imagined abjection of Christ, from the self-humiliating disciplines of ascetics to the intimate disclosures of Augustine.
Burrus argues that Christianity innovated much less by means of exchanging disgrace with guilt than by means of embracing disgrace. certainly, the traditional Christians sacrificed honor yet laid declare to their very own disgrace with nice power, right now intensifying and reworking it. Public spectacles of martyrdom turned the main obvious capacity during which vulnerability to disgrace used to be switched over right into a defiant witness of identification; this was once additionally the place the sacrificial dying of the self exemplified through Christ's crucifixion was once such a lot explicitly appropriated through his fans. disgrace confirmed a extra deepest face besides, as Burrus demonstrates. The ambivalent entice of fleshly corruptibility was once explored within the theological imaginary of incarnational Christology. It used to be additional embodied within the transgressive disciplines of saints who plumbed the depths of humiliation. ultimately, with the arrival of literary and monastic confessional practices, the disgrace of sin's inexhaustibility made itself heard within the revelations of testimonial discourse.
In dialog with an eclectic constellation of theorists, Burrus interweaves her old argument with theological, mental, and moral reflections. She proposes, ultimately, that early Christian texts could have a lot to coach us in regards to the secrets and techniques of disgrace that lie on the center of our skill for humility, braveness, and transformative love.