Making cross cultural contact

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We need to communicate to others in a way that they will understand in their own terms. From their own world view (Hiebert Paraphrase)

Three different cultures have been identified:

Guilt-Innocence Cultures

  • Notions of right and wrong are foundational
  • Moral responsibility comes from within – conscience guides us to what is right
  • Justice means wrong must be punished equitably
  • To alleviate guilt, a person may confess wrong doing and or provide restitution

Shame-Honour Cultures

  • Honour is a person’s social worth/value in the eyes of the community
  • Shame is when the community thinks lowly of you
  • Culture is relational and collectivistic
  • Social status of the group must be maintained

Fear-Power Cultures

  • Fear comes from doing wrong before the spirit world
  • Leaders are spiritual people capable of changing the course of history via magical rituals
  • Magic is the key to control the unknowns of life and ward off evil – amulets, curses, charms, fetishes etc.

Useful books to read on this subject:

Duane Elmer, Cross-Cultural Servanthood, Cross-Cultural Connections and Cross-Cultural Conflict.

Patty Lane, A Beginner’s Guide to Crossing Cultures” by Patty Lane.