The paradigm of honor and shame as a cultural framework has gained a lot of traction in recent years. In an article for Christianity Today, “Exposing the Truth About Honor and Shame,” Jackson Wu and Jayson Georges write:
Shame is getting exposed, finally.
Commentators now observe how Western culture, especially the millennial generation, is becoming more shame-prone. Consequently, more Westerners are seeking release from the disease of shame—that dreadful feeling of unworthiness and isolation.
Building on the popular books and TED talks from shame-researcher Brené Brown, evangelical authors like Christine Caine, Lecrae, and others have written books about becoming Unashamed. They share a common message: You shouldn’t feel ashamed, so stop listening to the condemning voices of others. For Christians who have known the gospel as simply the forgiveness of trespasses (i.e., salvation from our guilt), this news about salvation from shame can be truly liberating.
While this “gospel for shame” is true, it is not entirely true.
The assumptions of Western psychology shape the common perception of shame as a negative, internal emotion of low self-esteem. This individualistic, subjective view of shame limits our reading of Scripture. So if we are going to expose shame, let’s expose it for what it really is.
We have invited Jackson Wu to do a webinar for us on this topic. The title of the webinar is “Confucian Shame in Christian Thinking.”
For Confucian thinkers, shame is an essential element required for moral development. This understanding is foreign to most Westerners. Yet, does shame have a place in Christian theology? Is it something to get rid of or might it have role in shaping our character? This webinar will explore the diverse ways that honor and shame affect our moral decision making as well as Paul’s use of these ideas within his letters.
This free webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at 1:00PM (US Central Time).
For more information and to register go to “Confucian Shame in Christian Thinking.”
We’d love to have you join us!
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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