How might we define “honor-shame cultures”? Many people implicitly associate “honor-shame culture” with “violence.” Westerners perceive honor-shame cultures as aggressive and combative. This reason (proposed in my prior post) is because the Western mind perceives honor-based violence as “senseless” and “incomprehensible,” unlike the …

A Better Definition of Honor-Shame Cultures—”Connection” Read more »

“Cultures of honor and shame are violent.” This common assumption is a myth rooted in a pejorative cultural bias. Westerners often define honor-shame cultures by their violent retaliation against personal slights. People in honor-shame cultures are sensitive about their reputation, …

A Western Bias: “Honor-Shame Cultures are Violent” Read more »

“Transforming Honor” is a new training video about biblical ethics, morality, and discipleship in honor-shame cultures. My aim with this video is to (1) transform Western misconceptions about honor cultures and (2) transform honor into a positive source for moral change. The 33-minute resource is …

New Training Video about Ethics and Discipleship Read more »

Three leading missiologists will join us at the Honor-Shame Conference (June 19-21) at Wheaton. Ed Stetzer is the Billy Graham Professor of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, Executive Director of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, and blogs at The Exchange …

Stetzer, Moreau, & Kärkkäinen at the Honor-Shame Conference Read more »

A great way to acquire wisdom for cross-cultural wisdom is to watch the wise. I’m always amazed by Central Asians who handle problems with cultural savvy—they can influence people in such honoring ways. Unfortunately, Westerners often struggle to navigate thorny issues in …

Giving Indirect Advice (A Folktale) Read more »

“Young people these days are becoming more shame based.” The previous post showed how data from TheCultureTest.com collaborates this common observation. But this observation naturally evokes the “why?” question. Why is Western culture becoming more shame based? Here I identify are …

5 Reasons the West is Becoming More Shame Based Read more »

A new moral system has emerged in America. It is shaped by the language of privilege, class, bias, inequality, tolerance, and inclusion. This new moral system has taken definitive expression in the issue of microaggressions.Microaggressions are “brief, everyday exchanges that …

Microaggressions and “Reverse Honor”: America’s Latest Moral System Read more »

Guilt-innocence cultures are W.E.I.R.D.—Western, Education, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.In 2010, three cultural psychologists published an article titled “The Weirdest People in the World?” The authors explain that most psychological research in conducted on a small, unrepresentative subset of human population—W.E.I.R.D people.The …

Guilt-Innocence Cultures are WEIRD Read more »

Patricia Toland (Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies, Biola University) has served in Africa and Latin America since 1990 mobilizing the Latino church and training Latino Missionaries. She also lectures, trains, and ministers internationally to missionaries on the field and in universities.Church …

Honor & Patronage Among Church Leaders Read more »

We all judge other people cultures according to our own cultural values. This is fine when two people share the same culture. But when people from two different cultures interact, using your own culture to judge others can be disastrous. The cultures …

INFOGRAPHIC: How Cultures Clash Read more »

For people to understand, you must speak their language. Obvious, huh?But most Westerners ignore this basic rule of communication in their cross-cultural relationships. To meaningfully communicate love and honor to people, we must use the cultural “grammar” of honor-shame in …

6 Keys for Relationships in Honor-Shame Cultures Read more »

Patricia Toland (Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies, Biola University) has served in Africa and Latin America since 1990 mobilizing the Latino church and training Latino Missionaries. She also lectures, trains, and ministers internationally to missionaries on the field and in universities. …

Honor & Patronage Among Church Leaders Read more »

A conversation with a young Central Asian Muslim changed my theology forever.We were having a conversation about God, and there was an open door to share the gospel, so I said something like, “Your sins make you guilty before God, …

3 Tips for Evangelism in Honor-Shame Cultures Read more »

Here are 12 claims about honor cultures from Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche (Oxford University Press, 2016) by Ryan Brown, professor of social psychology at the University of Oklahoma.In honor cultures, “men are hyper …

12 Proven Facts about Honor Cultures Read more »