"Curt Thompson has written a book that is both truthful and honest: honest about our self-diminishment and truthful about alternatives. He is a shrewd observer of human reality and reads the Bible in knowing and compelling ways. The result of these qualities is a book that is potentially transformative and emancipatory for many readers. An important byproduct, in my reading, is the recognition that the church has spent much too much time on the issue of guilt. The move from guilt to shame is a move from rules that may smother to relationships that may hurt but that also have the capacity to heal. This is a wise book that knows about our present tense and our possible future."
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"This book is timely, unique and relevant. It is well researched and logically structured. Curt Thompson's wisdom, professionalism and experience as a preeminent psychiatrist and neuroscientist shine through new material and pertinent real-life stories. The book is unique because it doesn't just propose theory and questions but offers answers, explanations and solutions. This is a theological work—the very premise of the book is about the 'soul' of shame, and this makes it exceptional. But above all else this is a human book—it is about every one of us and what we see and feel and how we react. It will change the lives of all who read it...It is destined to become a benchmark in the discussion on shame."
—Scott Milne, businessman, marriage coach, New Zealand
"I wish The Soul of Shame had been available when I first started my career in education twenty years ago. This book offers tremendous implications for those of us who work in schools. As all of us were once students, we can all attest to the ways in which shame lurks in classrooms, sowing seeds of discord, doubt and discouragement. In The Soul of Shame Curt Thompson deftly combines the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology with Christian theology, shaped and understood by his own practice as a therapist and his multiple roles as husband, father, son, brother, friend and follower of Jesus. Thompson's mix of stories and science serves to make the particulars of neurobiology accessible and invites the reader to explore the harmful effects of shame in his or her own story. As an educator seeking to serve children living amidst the grim realities of urban poverty, I often discuss our desire to cultivate the ideal conditions for human flourishing and shalom, and Curt Thompson has provided me with the language to name and better understand one of our greatest enemies—shame. But more importantly, The Soul of Shame provides a framework for scorning shame and allowing vulnerability, joy and community to thrive."
—Bentley Craft, head of school, West Dallas Community School
"With the discerning eye of a wise therapist, Curt Thompson shows that shame is not just a consequence of human sin but also a toxic 'emotional weapon' that stands at the root of sin, distancing us from God, from others and from our own place in God's beautiful and good creation. But Thompson reminds us that in Christ, God wants to heal our shame. Shame tells us that we are unworthy and unloved and that we should retreat and protect ourselves. But the gospel frees us to be vulnerable and therefore to be rescued from shame, because we are known and loved by the one who assumed our shame that we might enter into his joy. If you experience shame—which is to say, if you are a human being—then this book bears good news for you."
—Warren Kinghorn, Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School
"Through a masterfully woven blend of psychology, neurobiology, theology and real-life stories of patients he's known, Thompson charts a path through the shadowy territory of shame and leads us out the other side to hope and healing. The message here is a dose of good news for all of us who are thirsty for freedom from shame's insistent voice telling us that we are not enough. It turns out that the path to that freedom is paradoxical—as we trust enough in God's love to face the very vulnerability we fear, shame is cut off at the knees. Read this book and discover a story about who you really are that will lead you to increasing freedom and wholeness."
—David A. Schrader, Full Circle Group
"As a wise man once testified, 'The worst moment in life is when you get everything you ever wanted and discover that it's not enough.' As Curt Thompson so clearly and compassionately demonstrates, it is this insidious not-enough-ness that embodies the very soul of shame. Anyone who longs to break free from the shackles of shame will find a wide array of valuable tools within the pages of this book."