Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Contemporary pastoral theologians, though describing and interpreting shame from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing both from theology and psychology, tend to propose healing for shame only from a theological perspective. Transposing Martin Luther’s doctrine of the two kinds of righteousness into an interdisciplinary framework, this work proposes that pastoral theologians need to describe and interpret shame as well as suggest strategies for its healing from both theological and social-scientific perspectives.
Luther distinguishes between two kinds of righteousness, one passive and the other active. Passive righteousness is the righteousness of Christ bequeathed to us through the Word and the Sacraments (baptism and Holy Communion), which we receive through faith alone, a total trust in God and God’s promise. This righteousness justifies us before God (coram Deo) and is salvific. Active righteousness, on the other hand, is what we do to serve and to care for the well-being of the self and the neighbor. It justifies us before the world (coram mundo), but is not salvific.
The two kinds of righteousness can be associated with theology and sciences. Also, the conditions of the relationship between the two kinds of righteousness can determine the conditions of the relationship between theology and sciences. The two kinds of righteousness are inseparable, distinct, and asymmetrical in order, with passive righteousness having primacy over active righteousness. Theology and sciences are also iii inseparable, distinct, and asymmetrical in order, with theology having logical priority over sciences.
The two kinds of righteousness as an interdisciplinary framework therefore recommend that pastoral theologians approach pastoral issues such as shame from the perspectives of both theology and sciences. Indeed, the two kinds of righteousness as an interdisciplinary framework recommend that pastoral theologians address shame from both theological and scientific perspectives, not only at the descriptive and interpretive levels, but also at the pragmatic level.
Hence, while chapters two and three of this work develop Luther’s doctrine of the two kinds of righteousness as an interdisciplinary framework, chapter four interprets shame from both psychological and theological perspectives, chapter five describes the personal, social, and theological dynamics of shame among Malagasy, and chapters six and seven suggest strategies for the healing of shame from social-scientific and theological perspectives, respectively.
Mahafaly, Barson Lahivelo, "Coram Deo et Coram Mundo: The Two Kinds of Righteousness as a Normative Framework for the Description, Interpretation, and Healing of Shame" (2016). Doctor of Philosophy Theses. 16.