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Guilty Conscience




with Wilfred McClay & Rob Waller

Guilty Conscience

Guilt is a big topic – there is so much to say. Like the feeling of guilt itself, it is layered.

We deal with guilt on an individual level and on a societal one.

“Guilt is a religious problem which interests theologians, a social problem which interests sociologists and a psychological problem which interests psychologists,” wrote psychotherapist and theologian, Paul Tournier, in his book Guilt and Grace.

People sometimes speak of  ‘religious guilt’ or ‘Catholic guilt’ and it’s almost always used negatively. The assumption is that if you are religious, you are dealing with much more guilt than the regular person, and certainly more than is healthy!

But maybe guilt is actually good?

And maybe religion – Christianity in particular – is the maestro of listening to, directing, and silencing the guilt we experience in our lives.


Download a transcript of this episode here

“A culture of victimhood is one characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large. People increasingly demand help from others, and advertise their oppression as evidence that they deserve respect and assistance. This only increases the incentive to publicize grievances, and it means aggrieved parties are especially likely to highlight their identity as victims, emphasizing their own suffering and innocence.”

  • It’s Jiminy Cricket!

Meet our guests


Wilfred M. McClay is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America was awarded the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books are The Student’s Guide to U.S. History, Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in AmericaFigures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American PastWhy Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Public Life in Modern America, and Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.


Rob Waller is a Consultant Psychiatrist based in Scotland with over 20 years experience. He grew up in London, studied medicine at the University of Cambridge and then studied postgraduate psychiatry  in Yorkshire.

He has spoken widely at both church and academic events on mental health and spirituality. He is able to speak on a number of topics including the role of mental health services, the use of medication and therapy and how the brain works.

Want to send John Dickson a question? He loves them. Just click here to provide a query for our next Q and A show!

Undeceptions is part of the Eternity Podcast Network, an audio collection showcasing the seriously good news of faith today.

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Guilty Conscience




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