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Publisher's Summary

Raw, intimate, and timely, Nadia Bolz-Weber’s latest book offers a full-blown overhaul of our harmful and antiquated ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies.

Christians are obsessed with sex. But not in a good way. For generations countless people have suffered pain, guilt, and judgment as a result of this toxic fixation on sex, the body, and physical pleasure. In the follow-up to her celebrated New York Times best seller Accidental Saints, Bolz-Weber unleashes her critical eye, her sharp pen, and her vulnerable but hopeful soul on the caustic, fear-riddled, and religiously inspired messages about sex that have fed our shame. 

In turn, Bolz-Weber offers no simple amendments or polite compromises, because the stakes are too high - and our souls and our bodies are worth too much. Instead, this tattooed, swearing, modern-day pastor calls for a new reformation. She urges us to take antiquated, sexist ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies and “burn them the f--k down and start all over.” 

This is a journey of holy resistance. Along the way, as antidotes to shame, heresy, and all-too-familiar injustice, Bolz-Weber dispenses grace, freedom, and courage. She shares stories, poetry, and scripture, cultivating resilient hope and audacious love rooted in good news that is “powerful enough, transgressive enough, and beautiful enough to heal not only the ones who have been hurt but also those who have done the hurting.” 

In Bolz-Weber’s most personal, bracingly honest book yet, she shares intimately about her life, with her trademark blend of vulnerability, humor, and candor. If you’ve been mistreated, confused, angered, and/or wounded by the shaming sexual messages so prevalent in religion, this one is for you. Includes a PDF of images and drawings from the book.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Nadia Bolz-Weber (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

Shameless is a triumph. Nadia Bolz-Weber returns to readers the gift toxic religion and consumer culture stole: the gift of sexuality. Her wisdom is unparalleled, her vulnerability touching, her storytelling masterful, and her perspective both ancient and fresh. Shameless will give its readers their joy, relationships, and freedom back.” (Glennon Doyle, author of number-one New York Times best seller Love Warrior, Founder and President of Together Rising)

Shameless is one of the most important, life-changing books I’ve ever read. Expertly-crafted and lovingly delivered, it serves as both a bomb and a balm - blowing up the lies religion teaches about sex and tenderly healing the wounds those messages have inflicted. Pastoral and prophetic, Shameless weaves together history, theology, biblical studies, personal narrative, and sex ed, without ever losing sight of its most important aim - honoring the dignity of actual human beings living actual, messy and beautiful lives. It’s Nadia Bolz-Weber’s best book yet. And that’s saying something.” (Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and Inspired

“If the conversation around sex in the Church has felt like a small, cramped room to you, brace yourself: Nadia Bolz-Weber is about to kick in the door, hustle you outside, and burn down the room as you march out into the fresh air. This irreverent, bold, and authentic book is deeply centered in love and the transforming goodness of God. If ever there was a time for the Church to disrupt the world's broken notions around sex, gender, masculinity, and power with this sort of a shameless reformation, it is now. And Nadia is the loving, hopeful, wise, take-no-prisoners disruptor we've been waiting for.” (Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts)  

What listeners say about Shameless

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A Must Listen

This book is incredible, and for anyone who has suffered abuse at the hands of the church- redemptive. Even if you have walked away from Christianity and don't intend to go back, there is much healing in this book and a different way to hold the stories that children who have been abused by literal dogma were taught.

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Thank You

Thank you, Nadia, for having the courage to share so honestly, humbly and truthfully. Your words not only helped to heal some of my past, but (even more excitingly) helped to shine radiant light on my future. ~Courtney Cann

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interesting

was interested to hear a woman's perspective and considered what was said. It resonates with me. thank-you for writing it.

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Great content!

I loved the overall story of the book but the political references weren’t needed nor were they accurate. Otherwise great book.

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Loved it!

Eloquently written, heartfelt and engaging! I have long been a fan of this author, never disappoints!

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  • Katie Dillman
  • 2019-04-20

Most certainly pastoral work

A perfect embodiment of her self professed pastoral style of fuck it I’ll go first

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  • Kacie k.
  • 2019-02-28

putting my faith back into my religion

Nadia bolz-weber has amazing context in her story and I really love how she's helped me put my face back into my religion as a lesbian affirmed Presbyterian Christian. she really puts a fresh and modern spin on Christianity which is needed to happen for some time.

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  • mountainfrog
  • 2019-02-07

Disappointing

I wanted to like this book. Nadia Bolz-Weber is one of my favorite writers. I have given her books as gifts. I think she is a gifted speaker and thinker. I think her premise is correct. We need to rethink the purity culture in the Evangelical church. We need to support sexual minorities. We need love each other when we do not meet historic biblical standards set forth by the mainline (patriarchal) church.

My concern, however, is that she has a very big logical fallacy in this book. She opens her book with the argument that holiness is defined as "togetherness". She argues that holiness is where separate beings come together. This just isn't a correct definition of holiness. Holy is defined as "set apart for God". Merriam Webster definition of holy - exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness". By definition. holiness is not carnal. She argues that erotic exploration is holy because it is communion.

I think she is using the wrong words. I agree that communion can be good. I agree that God wants communion, but I don't think she is using the word "holy" correctly. Since this is one of her foundational arguments, the rest of the first section seems to falter.

Because I love her writing, I continued to the second half of the book. The second half of the book is better. She describes the walk of sexual minorities and the paternalistic church. This is compelling. She ends with the admonition to work toward forgiveness and general communion. This is powerful.

I wanted to be able to share this book, but I can't. I think her misuse of the word "holy" is too big of a stumbling block. I am personally glad I listened to it, but I can not recommend for others.

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  • Margaret Priola
  • 2019-04-26

Thank you, Nadia

Thank you, Nadia. That is all I can really say. This is going to be healing for so many, including me.

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  • Meg Moore
  • 2019-04-23

Not what I thought

I’m not impressed by this in the least bit. If you’ve been suppressed by your sexuality by the church then maybe you’d find this interesting. But if you’re sure of yourself and looking for a different perspective on sexuality in church it sucks. I loved her interview with Rich Roll which was why I downloaded this book but this book isn’t worth it.

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  • Laura
  • 2019-03-29

Not what I was hoping for.

I have been a Christian all my life and have not had bad experiences in church, so maybe, like the author says, I didn’t benefit as much from the “revolutionary” ideas in the book. To be honest, it felt like the author’s ideas were often her own opinion and arbitrary poetic ideas that weren’t based on the bible or what Jesus taught. Using the description of “holiness” liberally, was a perfect example of taking nice words from the bible and using them to suit her purposes. While not necessarily wrong, I felt like I couldn’t trust the author’s ideas because they weren’t rooted in something solid. I guess it felt more like a cultural adaptation that tried so gard to be liberal that it didn’t leave much as much solid Christianity to talk about. It’s an interesting listen, but I guess it’s not for me.

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  • John-Michael Marrs
  • 2019-02-13

So thankful for and to this lady!

Characteristically honest, life-giving, and life affirming. In the vein of Pure, but with even greater hope, anecdotes, and theology.

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  • Ashlei Ryan
  • 2022-01-12

so beautiful!

this book is life changing! thank you Nadia for your beautiful words! I will definitely be buying copies and handing this one out!

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  • B. Morrison
  • 2022-01-11

10/10 am sharing with my daughters

Nadia Bolz-Weber puts into words what I’ve been thinking about the oppressive nature of “Christian” teachings toward sex. I’m glad to have this resource because it’s going to be very helpful when I have to have “the talk” with my daughters later. I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to challenge their perception about what they’ve learned in church about (lack of) sex and intimacy.

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  • Mary Martin
  • 2021-12-13

Freedom

Nadia has once again presented a God that is approachable, Grace filled and loving in a world that is isolating, judgmental, and harsh. Nadia’s vision of God is one that restores my faith every time. She is not just pastrix, she is a prophet, a truth teller, and a freedom fighter. She is my hero and I will forever be grateful for her voice, her courage, and her ministry.