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
- About that record… the first was already dead: angler — read more about Clive White’s trout confession.
- This episode is brought to you by Zondervan’s new book Bullies and Saints: An honest look at the good and evil of Christian history by John Dickson.
- Meet our guest, Dr Rob Waller.
- Meet our guest, Professor Wilfred McClay
- Here’s Rob’s book, The Guilt Book
- Here’s Bill’s essay from The Hedgehog Review, The Strange Persistence of Guilt (behind a paywall, sorry!)
- The scene from Daredevil on Netflix was from Season 2, Episode 4. Though, we’re not really saying you should watch it.
- This one’s specifically for John, actually: More on 30 Rock, the American satirical comedy created by Tina Fey. (PS. It won 16 Emmy awards and is regarded as one of the best sitcoms of all time).
- Here’s the atheist bus campaign that Bill talks about:
- You can learn more about Neitzsche’s theory on the genealogy of guilt here.
- Here’s Sigmund Freud’s Civilisation and its Discontents, where he declared guilt to be “the most important problem in the development of civilization.” He said “the price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.”
- Here we are again, with a link for the Netflix series The Good Place. (So great that we keep quoting it … John should definitely keep watching. Love Kaley and Mark)
- There’s a lot of views about whether or not to destroy Confederate statues. Here’s a few interesting reads from different perspectives:
- A Solution to the Confederate-Monument Problem: Destroying the statues won’t erase the past. Why not let them deteriorate in a public space instead? from The Atlantic
- We need to move, not destroy, Confederate monuments from The New York Times
- Nearly 100 Confederate monuments removed in 2020, says report. Over 700 remain. from NPR (America’s National Public Radio)
- The battle over Confederate statues, explained: Confederate statues have always been about white supremacy. That’s why they’re coming down, by Vox
- And, here’s Undeceptions own Laurel Moffatt giving her thoughts during an Undeceptions single last year.
- Read more on Professor Tyler Vander Weele’s research on whether forgiveness is a public health issue.
- Read the research by sociologists Bradley and Manning on victimhood: The Rise of Victimhood Culture, in which they write:
“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 America, Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, Why 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.
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Undeceptions is part of the Eternity Podcast Network, an audio collection showcasing the seriously good news of faith today.