“Honor is very important in bringing about change in the world.” If you want to bring about change in the world, I suggest this engaging 3 ½ minute video “The Honor Code” with Princeton professor Anthony Kwame Appiah.
In his book The Honor Code Appiah claims that moral revolutions occur in traditional societies when honor codes are transformed. If you want to change behavior, don’t change the legal code, change the honor code. Rules don’t change behavior, honor (or more accurately, shame) changes behavior. Despite the common meaning of “honor code” (an academic pledge to not cheat), the phrase here refers to a society’s system for acquiring, attributing, preserving, and displaying honor. These are the unwritten rules of cultures that govern people’s behavior and evaluations.
Christians will not view everything like Appiah, but must think about honor codes to positively shape morality and ethics towards God’s kingdom. Watch video here.
- What comments by Appiah rang true for you?
- How does a biblical approach to biblical and moral change compare to Appiah’s?
- Do you think Jesus revealed a new honor code?
The next 2 posts will explore God’s honor code in theology and ministry. Also read: