Limited Good

One of the concepts postulated about societies that focus more on shame than guilt is that they are ‘limited good’ societies. This idea suggests that people in those societies regard social capital as finite. This concept suggests that if my own lot improves it automatically means that someone else’s lot gets worse. That’s probably simplistic but the blog below challenges that assumption about those cultures and provokes a great deal of discussion in the follow-up comments on the post page

http://honorshame.com/limited-good/

One of the responses references another blog:

http://blog.zebrapost.net/2015/11/the-issue-of-limited-good.html

It seems to me that these discussions are vitally important in understanding other cultures but also have an impact on how we understand and approach the bible as Christians. We have to get hold of the truth that, unless we are very careful, we misinterpret scripture by reading it through our own cultural spectacles. That isn’t just true for Western Christians but also for others from Africa, South American and Asia. The shame-honour and guilt- forgiveness paradigms are significant factors in understanding cultures and in understanding scripture. To the extent that we uncritically fall into one or the other paradigm then we set ourselves up to misunderstand and misinterpret scripture.

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