Then the eyes of both were opened,And it is also interesting that the shame is absolutely separate from the guilt. They are guilty of eating forbidden fruit and they are ashamed of being naked.
and they knew they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.
I could go on at great length being subtle and nuanced in my interpretation of the Adam and Eve but it seems to me that the story is not intended to explain the presence of guilt and shame. The story of Adam and Eve does not explain anything at all despite considerable efforts to try to make it explain or justify morality. All it does is describe the place of guilt and shame and sin in the world. The story would make no sense at all if shame, guilt and sin weren't real things that always exist in human communities.
By the way, there are two interesting cases of shame in today's readings. Paul's letter to Philemon makes the case that Philemon should forgive his runaway slave Onesimus. That seems like a straightforward guilt-innocence case. But the letter was meant to be read aloud before the whole church. The whole church in this case meaning the Christian community that met at Philemon's house! Paul means to back up his guilt-innocence logic by shaming Philemon into doing the right thing.
Again, in the Gospel, Jesus talks about doing things the right way because it is the right way but underlines this by saying that the consequence of failing to do so will be shame:
Otherwise, after laying the foundationOne of the most tempting notions of enlightened liberalism is that we might get rid of shame and live in a world where guilt and innocence are the only things that matter. There is a lot of propaganda in favour of this idea. Think of The Scarlet Letter or Leonora or Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.
But I don't think it is possible or desirable to do so.