This volume deals with the varied forms of shame reflected in biblical, theological, psychological and anthropological sources. Although traditional theology and church practice concentrate on providing forgiveness for shameful behavior, recent scholarship has discovered the crucial relevance of social shame evoked by mental status, adversity, slavery, abuse, illness, grief and defeat. Anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists have discovered that unresolved social shame is related to racial and social prejudice, to bullying, crime, genocide, narcissism, post-traumatic stress and other forms of toxic behavior. Eleven leaders in this research participated in a conference on The Shame Factor, sponsored by St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Lincoln, NE in October 2010. Their essays explore the impact and the transformation of shame in a variety of arenas, comprising in this volume a unique and innovative resource for contemporary religion, therapy, ethics, and social analysis.