“Globally, shame-based cultures are the most prevalent. For this reason a biblical theology for honor/shame cultures is missiologically imperative.”
Billions of people in Asian, Latin, African, and Islamic societies live in a shame-based culture. Nearly a quarter of Western society likewise lives with the honor-shame dichotomy. How do we minister to people who don’t respond to the Four Spiritual Laws or the innocence of the Lamb of God going to slaughter?
Honor-Shame societies regulate behavior through the motivators of honor and shame. When a person does wrong, they receive shame instead of feeling guilt. When they do what is right, they receive honor from the society. “The primary motivation in social situations is avoiding disgrace and maintaining harmonious relationships” (Georges, HonorShame.com) This cultural type is most often found in Asian, Latin, and Middle Eastern societies.
Without study and practice, it can be difficult for Westerners from a Guilt-Innocence culture to understand and appreciate the behaviors, feelings, and thoughts of those they are serving in an Honor-Shame culture. Sometimes it can lead to confusion about how to minister, present the Gospel, or disciple.
HonorShame.com has numerous resources for missionaries to learn about Honor-Shame cultures. In addition, you can access resources to evangelize and disciple those in Honor-Shame cultures.
All for free!
Rethinking your biblical theology in the context of honor and shame can be difficult and daunting, but HonorShame.com is here to help.