Making cross cultural contact

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 material on this subject:

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

TVS PT512 Eng 10. Cultural differences. Western vs Majority World. Part II

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