DOI: 10.1111/dial.12825 ISSN:

A cross‐continental conversation about sin and shame with Marcia Blasi and Marit Trelstad

Marcia Blasi, Marit Trelstad
  • Religious studies


This is a cross‐continental conversation about contextual understandings of sin and shame in the context of women in Latin America and Africa, and students in the United States. Marcia Blasi brings the experience of working with women throughout the world in her role in the Lutheran World Federation, and both authors work in Lutheran and feminist theologies. In particular, this interview highlights how individualized understandings of sin, often focused on morality and behavior, serve to shame women and reinforce notions of inferiority in patriarchal systems. In these systems, women are never doing enough for others and pride in one's self is not allowed. At the same time, social understandings of sin as systematic injustice serve to fight against these ideas of sin and the concomitant production of shame because they contextualize a person's actions within a broader culture and its expectations. The authors here seek to understand what real grace means and feels like for female‐identifying people and how confession of sin would be altered if seen through the lens of women globally.

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