THE ALL THINGS PEACE PROJECT
There is an intimate connection between shame and violence.
Why are we becoming more divided over politics?
Why are addiction and deaths of despair on the rise?
What can we do about the violence in our streets?
And is there any good news?
We are seeking to address these questions and more. We are creating resources out of research in social sciences, the wisdom of diverse world cultures, and insights from ancient Christian spiritual traditions. We seek to help people to expand their imaginations about what is possible in their communities, their families, and their own lives.
Although our work is informed by the Christian scriptures, we have found our work resonating with people of all faiths and none. We truly believe that this is a conversation for everyone, and we welcome your involvement.
These resources are created in partnership with The Ephesians 2 Project. Visit the website of Mission ONE to learn more!
Check out our Seminars and Resources page to learn more!
SHAME AND VIOLENCE
The Big Idea
A growing number of psychologists, sociologists, and criminologists are now arguing that shame is a frequently underlying cause of violence—both against oneself and others. These connections have been explored from the individual level all the way up to wars and acts of terrorism.
How Do We Define Shame?
The research we draw from uses a variety of definitions for shame, which all add to our understanding. For our purposes, we define shame as a sign that original human glory has been lost, degraded, or despised within a community. It manifests in feelings of worthlessness, rejection, brokenness, guilt, self-hatred, and more. Shame is not a disease in itself—it is a symptom of broken or toxic social bonds within a community.
What is Original Glory?
Original Glory could best be summed up as relational beauty. Original Glory cannot be possessed alone, but is always found in relationship with others. The Christian scriptures (along with many other ancient traditions) teach that humankind was created with an Original Glory, made to resemble the beauty and harmony of the Creator and Source of all things. (Mystic writer Simone Weil called this "The Beauty of the Whole World"). This Beauty pours out a foundational Way which brings each being in the universe to harmonious relationships with all others. The more harmoniously we relate to one another according to the principle of Original Glory, the more beautiful and glorious we each become.
How Does Shame (the loss of glory) Connect to Violence?
People are made to long for connection and glory with others. Our communities help us to form our sense of who we are and what the world is like. This need for connection and identity with others, some argue, is greater than the need for food. It provides the psychological foundation for both mental and physical health.