Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Religious Studies

Reader 1

Luis Salés

Reader 2

Oona Eisenstadt

Reader 3

Jerry Irish

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Rights Information

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In this senior thesis, I aim to explore the presence of shame in John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, via the excavation of the three main components that comprise of his edifice: original sin, grace, and predestination. Through a close reading of Calvin's Institutes, its application to Aristotelian ethics, and its consistencies (or lack thereof) with the biblical story of Genesis, I found that Calvin's theology not only suffers logical structure, but implores the Christian practitioner to embrace shame as a means to spiritually elevate the self. To conclude, I utilize Stephanie Arel's Affect Theory to uncover the detrimental impacts that shame has on the body and mind, as well as the possible benefits that shame can yield, if regulated appropriately.