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The Relevance of Biblical Thought for Understanding Guilt and Shame

Fletcher, George P
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Lukas H. Meyer, ed., Justice in Time: Responding to Historical Injustice. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. Pp. 199-206.

Modern discussions about responsibility for crimes or injustices committed in the past raise significant questions about collective guilt and shame. Many commentators approach the questions from the perspective of the philosophical challenges posed by them. Acknowledging those challenges, George Fletcher nonetheless highlights the relevance of Biblical texts for our current sensibilities about collective guilt and shame. Biblical texts are significant because they have entered into the intuitive reactions that shape how we think about justice over time. With all of this in mind, then, Fletcher focuses on ideas of collective guilt and shame in the Hebrew Bible (especially in Genesis), with some discussion of how those ideas have been received into Christian thought.


AbstractBiblical Perspectives
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