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From One Honor-Shame Culture to Another: A Proposal for Training Chinese Missionaries to Serve in Muslim Contexts

Author: Jackson Wu
Published: 2020

MD 11

Article Type: Text Article

How might Christians from one honor-shame culture serve effectively as missionaries in another honor-shame culture? By answering this question, churches and mission organizations can better train cross-cultural workers whose cultural backgrounds offer advantages not enjoyed by many Western missionaries. Due to the scope of the topic, this essay sketches only a preliminary proposal.

Honor and shame manifest across cultures around the world in countless ways. Still, we can identify several common features of an honor-shame perspective that transcend any particular setting. This should not surprise us. After all, honor and shame are characteristics of every human society. The Bible itself is replete with language and concepts that reflect these cultural concerns. Several empirical and exegetical studies elaborate on these statements.1

This article first considers the scope and significance of the opening question above. We identify potential challenges and opportunities that face mission practitioners. After clarifying briefly what is meant by honor and shame, I outline the primary contours of an honor-shame worldview. This discussion lays the groundwork for the final section of the essay. Honor and shame do not exist in the abstract; they find expression in concrete social settings. Therefore, I will explore several practical implications for training Chinese missionaries who work in Muslim contexts. This imagined case study illustrates one possible way to train people from one honor-shame culture to minister in another.

Honor and Shame in Missions Practice

What would be included in such training? Working in a cross-cultural environment is challenging. This is especially true for cross-cultural missionaries (“missionaries” hereafter), who need training in an array of areas. Non-missionary expatriates can sufficiently achieve the objectives of their employment with minimal effort to understand the local culture. They often remain within a subcultural bubble, forming few if any meaningful relationships with nationals. Missionaries, by contrast, invest themselves in people. Doing so calls for depth of understanding, which requires a grasp of the worldview, values, and cultural expectations of those whom they wish to serve. Furthermore, they need a robust knowledge of the Bible, its background, and various issues along the theological spectrum.

These points are probably obvious to most readers of this article. Yet, I restate them to underscore the diverse ways that honor/shame can and should influence missionary training. Consider just a few key aspects of missionary training. One first thinks of the need for cultural sensitivity. Missionaries need to understand local customs and the significance of words or behaviors that could either honor or offend people in their host culture. Improper clothing or incorrectly addressing elders could undermine efforts to build long term relationships.

Like Christians everywhere, missionaries attempt to foster healthy interactions with family, teammates, and church members. The isolation and pressures of living cross-culturally make these relationships all the more challenging. Missionaries may find that people in their host culture have different expectations for family and church. For instance, most Chinese think it shameful to put their parents in a nursing home and often regard it as a duty to have their elderly parents live with them in their homes. By contrast, countless Americans regard nursing homes as both a sensible and compassionate option for aging parents. In short, missionaries must discern how best to show honor in their closest relationships. To do otherwise makes one appear shameless and immoral.

Furthermore, cross-cultural workers need to understand various aspects of biblical interpretation, theology, contextualization, and mission strategy. How do honor and shame influence each of these areas? Take evangelism, for example. By helping missionaries become familiar with honor/shame, they are better equipped to explain the gospel in biblically faithful and culturally meaningful ways. Many people will more easily understand sin as “dishonoring God,” compared to explaining it merely as “law breaking.”

In each area mentioned above, we could say much more about how one might incorporate an honor-shame perspective specifically . Honor and shame are inherently social concepts. Given the breadth of the missionary task, the ways that honor/shame could influence missionary training are almost limitless. The ideas and suggestions that follow are but a few possibilities worth considering.

What Are Honor and Shame?

What do we mean by honor and shame? Any definition of these terms is a generalization. Describing and then contrasting varieties of honor/shame is more helpful. First, shame is the fear, pain, or state of being regarded unworthy of acceptance in social relationships. The primary distinction between shame and guilt is their focus. Guilt concerns one’s actions (“I do bad”) whereas shame emphasizes a person’s worth (“I am bad”).

Second, a classic definition of honor comes from Bruce Malina. He says, “Honor is the value of a person in his or her own eyes (that is, one’s claim to worth) plus that person’s value in the eyes of his or her social group. Honor is a claim to worth along with the social acknowledgement of worth.”2 One’s honor regulates a person’s status and identity within a group. Depending on context, honor may or may not have moral connotations. This is because people can be honored or shamed for different reasons.

How does one gain honor and/or shame? They are achieved and ascribed. Achieved honor (or shame) is the result of an individual’s performance, success, or failure. Thus, it distinguishes a person from others. Ascribed honor (or shame) stems from one’s relationships, group, and position. Accordingly, in various settings, a person’s gender, surname, and job title will cause others to treat him or her differently. An Imam or priest will have the respect of certain religious adherents; non-religious persons are less likely to ascribe the same honor to him.

In daily life, both of these types of honor/shame are pervasive and intertwined. In many respects, Westerners tend to prioritize achieved honor whereas Easterners often are more sensitive to ascribed honor/shame.3 They can also occur in the same situation. For example, parents are ascribed honor from peers when their child achieves good grades and makes the school honor roll. Since honor and shame are group dependent, a person could simultaneously gain both honor and shame. Thus, a kid might be praised by his peers for taking revenge on a rival gang, who naturally view him with disdain. Sports provides a more trivial example. If a New York Yankees fan walks into a bar, she will be welcomed by fellow Yankee fans but scorned by fans of their rivals, the Boston Red Sox.

The Many Faces of Shame

A common confusion concerns the nature of shame, especially in relation to guilt. People often suppose that guilt is objective and shame subjective. In fact, both guilt and shame have objective and subjective dimensions. “Objective” guilt/shame comes from some source outside the judged individual. By “subjective,” we refer to one’s personal sense or experience. Subjectively, a person might feel ashamed or guilty yet have done nothing objectively wrong or worthy of censure. Conversely, a law or community can reckon a person guilty or shameful; however, she might not subjectively experience feelings of guilt or shame.

There is another reason that people misunderstand shame. Scholars from multiple fields discuss different facets of shame, whether psychological, social, or sacred (i.e., theological): “Subjectively, shame is psychological or individualistic. Objectively, we can describe shame in two ways. First, it is cultural or social. Second, there is theological or ‘sacred’ shame. . . . Each uses a different standard to assess whether someone is considered shameful (or conversely, worthy of honor). With psychological shame, an individual perceives himself or herself to lack value or significance. Social or cultural shame measures one’s worth in relation to social expectations. Finally, sacred (or theological) shame is ascribed to those who lack honor before God.”4 Naturally, these types of shame are entangled. Numerous examples of each type are found throughout the Bible. Consequently, when talking about shame, we must clarify our terms. Vague references to honor or shame routinely mask hidden assumptions. Usually, a Westerner has too narrow a perspective of honor/shame. They assume “shame” is merely this and “honor” simply that. Depending on context, overlap can exist between types of honor/shame. Accordingly, one’s psychological feelings of shame could reflect the person’s sacred shame (being worthy of shame before God) yet achieve for him honor in his social group.

Basic Components of an Honor-Shame Worldview

Before reflecting on practical implications for training, we must first understand what constitutes an honor-shame worldview. For people from a so-called honor-shame culture, what typically distinguishes their perspective of the world? What follows is a generalized description of an honor-shame perspective. In reality, honor and shame are features of all cultures, even if precise expressions and standards vary. This is because honor and shame are inherently social. Therefore, the distinctions or categories below merely highlight major emphases or trends that characterize people from traditional honor-shame cultures.


An honor-shame worldview prioritizes one’s group or collective identity above individual distinctions. “I belong, therefore I am” is a fitting adaptation of Descartes’s famous dictum. We are the sum of our relationships, the most important being family or bloodline. Naturally, one’s sense of morality and group identity are inseparable. From an honor-shame perspective, obligation trumps personal rights. Loyalty to others is a core concern. Harmonious relationships are a paramount concern. Reciprocity, whether the exchange of favors or gifts, is the currency that fosters all relationships. In this context, one is constantly aware of the boundary between insider and outsider.


People from an honor-shame culture tend to place more stress on authority and social hierarchy. Whatever egalitarianism exists will be restricted to certain spheres. Symbolic signs of respect carry weight (e.g., bowing, saluting). Honoring authority implies obedience and conformity to the group and its leaders. At the same time, authorities are responsible for the well-being of group members; they uphold the honor of the community. Age is a common criterion determining social status. People revere elders and ancestors.


By stressing the value of relationships and authority, honor-shame cultures maintain order and stability. Tradition and conformity trump change and novelty. Standard (i.e., customary) behaviors define what the community regards as “the standard” (i.e., what is normative). The natural world shapes the way people view life. Nature says what is and thus shows us what should be. Religious practices are often oriented toward “this life” rather than gaining “life after death.” Various rituals not only govern daily life in the community but also honor ancestors who still influence the world of the living. Through such communal rituals, honor-shame societies maintain continuity between generations and secure permanence for their way of life.

By wisely navigating relationships, obeying authority, and maintaining social order, a person gains recognition and respect from others. Everyone prefers to have honor, not shame. However, one’s reputation or “face” is a fundamental concern for someone with an honor-shame worldview. Describing Chinese culture, Chang and Holt state, “If social interaction is unavoidable, then so is mutual concern for face.”5 “Face” is inherently public, not private. It is a type of “social currency,” without which one is isolated from the community. What if an individual does not care about his reputation or that of others? Such a person would be deemed “shameless,” not caring about others’ opinions and social well-being. The Chinese philosopher Mencius underscores the point when he says, “Whoever has no sense of shame is not human.”6

The above taxonomy identifies the major threads that form the tapestry of an honor-shame worldview. In different cultures, diverse words, behaviors, and customs help people to express their unique sense of honor/shame. For example, “purity” is a commonly used metaphor in many honor-shame cultures. Such language marks what is unclean (thus, to be rejected) from what is clean (i.e., approved, even praiseworthy). In fact, sins “regulated by purity metaphors” is particularly likely to evoke shame responses.7 Likewise, in the Bible, honor and shame are conveyed through its sacrificial and holiness language. A major function of sacrifices is to restore God’s honor, whom people have dishonored via sin. Through sacrifice, God’s people will not be put to shame.8

Challenges Facing Chinese in Cross-Cultural Ministry

Scholars generally characterize East Asia and Muslim-majority contexts as honor-shame cultures. One might suspect that Chinese would adapt more easily when moving to another honor-shame context (compared to typical Westerners). Whether that is true is debatable. Perhaps it will be more likely if Chinese were given training to identify aspects of an honor-shame worldview shared by their home and host cultures.

We will first look at some of the difficulties Chinese missionaries face when crossing cultures. At this point, we can identify areas of tension that mitigate relative advantages that Chinese might otherwise enjoy. Tabor Laughlin’s dissertation provides a current and thorough study on the topic.9

Honor and shame are recurring themes in Laughlin’s interviews with Chinese missionaries. One interviewee said, “In that country, they do not use chopsticks. We were in the mountains, and they used their hands to eat. For Chinese, we do not like to use our hands to eat. I went out to look for bamboo to make chopsticks, but when I was chopping the chopsticks, I cut my wrist with a knife. I had to go out of the way to find bamboo and try to make chopsticks. This showed the hosts that I had failed to accept them.”10 Another Chinese missionary similarly explained that the failure to adapt to local food and drink “must have offended the hosts.”11 Like all cross-cultural workers, Chinese must learn the local language. Doing so is important to facilitate basic communication; also, “it is necessary to speak the language fluently, to let hosts know that you respect their language.”12

Even when working in another honor-shame culture, Chinese workers discovered they had different relationship expectations than their hosts. One interviewee said, “The people here are easy to befriend. I can feel close to people even after we just met. My friends here want me to share everything with them about my life, which is hard for me. I feel like I need boundaries. This sometimes causes me stress.”13 Furthermore, some female Chinese workers “expressed disgust in how the host men treat” women.14 These missionaries struggled to accept the gender roles subscribed to by a less egalitarian context.

Seemingly trivial tasks, like disposing of garbage and setting meeting times, present their own challenges. For instance, one Chinese missionary “disapproved of how the hosts disposed of their trash. He said, ‘They put the trash out for a long time then burned the trash. It was so putrid. So I started weekly throwing our trash away at a friend’s home, which offended [the] host people. They thought I was disapproving [of] how they took care of trash and looking down on them.’ [He] was surprised that the hosts were offended by his actions, as throwing away trash seemed like such a common activity to do.”15 On the other hand, being willing to “wear a head covering and a long dress to go to the Muslim village” and live “without electricity or internet” can foster closer relationships with locals. As one interviewee said, “Hosts are more likely to welcome and accept me because I am willing to be like them and with them.”16

Laughlin considers various factors that influence the retention of Chinese missionaries. One such factor is the Confucian value of filial piety, which “involves the responsibilities of younger generations providing support for their parents.” Accordingly, he explains, “it can be shameful for Chinese missionaries when they move to the mission field if they are perceived as abandoning their aging parents in China and failing to live up to their society’s standards of filial piety.”17

This brief sketch highlights a few overlapping ideas. First, several challenges facing Chinese missionaries concern honor/shame. Second, people from one honor-shame culture must still learn to negotiate the norms and customs of other honor-shame cultures. Third, despite their having a different cultural perspective, Chinese missionaries and their hosts often share certain underlying honor-shame values, such as prioritizing collective identity, patriarchy, shared meals, and stress on tradition. Fourth, the manner that Chinese express their cultures’ honor-shame perspective can differ. For example, even though many traditional honor-shame cultures are patriarchal, the standard gender norms still may vary in degree. These observations lead to the next section.

Comparing and Contrasting Honor and Shame Cultures

We will now compare and contrast major aspects of Chinese and Muslim cultures as they relate to honor/shame. A few qualifications are necessary. First, Chinese culture is not monolithic, and diversity likewise exists among Muslim cultures. For instance, the diverse cultures of Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia will shape each Muslim context in unique ways. Nevertheless, one can identify an array of common characteristics spanning the Muslim world. Second, “similar” does not mean “identical.” Thus, to claim that both cultures share a similar feature does not imply they express that characteristic in identical ways. This analysis can help Chinese missionaries (and those who train them) identify ways that honor and shame undergird Muslim cultures. Such observations are not exhaustive; they aim to catalyze further reflection by readers.

We should first recognize that Chinese and Muslim cultures use a variety of words and expressions to distinguish one kind of honor (or shame) from another. For instance, Sherifa Zuhur explains, “One type of honor, sharaf, applies to men and is attained through maintenance of a family’s reputation, hospitality, generosity, chivalry, bravery, piety, and, sometimes, nobility or political power. Another variant of honor, irdh in Arabic (irz in Turkish), pertains to women, or more specifically, to the sexual use of their bodies, their virginity, or their chaste behavior.”18 Likewise, different Chinese terms and idioms convey shades of nuance and meaning with respect to honor/shame.19

How does one get honor in a Muslim culture? Honor stems from one’s ancestry, pedigree, and age. Thus, Cristian Dumitrescu states, “The aged are often asked for wisdom and advice in managing the household and relating to neighbors. Politeness and respect, shown especially towards the elderly, is a sign of honor. In cases where an unruly child needs to be disciplined, it is considered normal that any member of the older generation participate.”20 Though describing a Muslim context, the essence of Dumitrescu’s comments might also describe Chinese culture. He says, “Everything is related to the family. The extended family is the basic building block of Islamic societies with the status of the family measured by the concepts of honor and shame.”21

However, the emphasis on family lineage produces different responses across cultures. Because of China’s “one-child policy,” families who want to perpetuate the family name often abandon or abort baby girls. Also, even families who are unable to conceive biological children rarely consider adoption as an option. Where informal adoptions do occur, that secret is usually well preserved from the public and the child.

For many Muslims, on the other hand, a family protects its honor and lineage through strict sanctions on sexuality. Dumitrescu says, “Honor is indicated by sexual purity. The foremost duty of a woman is to protect the honor of herself and her family from accusations or remarks regarding her sexual modesty. A Mediterranean family’s honor often rests with the females if the family or its lineage is unstable or if the family has no long-term economic interests.”22 Since honor is tied to progeny, wealth, and family name, “Marriage is arranged by parents who look for a suitable partner for their child, but most important for someone with a good reputation and honor.”23 As a result of these dynamics, gender divides the honor-shame spectrum. Effectively, men are responsible for a family’s honor, whereas women bear its shame.

This need to guard a woman’s chastity likely reinforces the more rigid gender norms among Muslims (compared to Chinese culture). The need to manage a women’s body leads to abuse and other atrocities. For example, Audrey Frank tells of a woman whose “face was completely disfigured by an ugly scar that dripped cruelly down her neck. When I asked her about it, she whispered, ‘My mother-in-law did it with boiling oil… She said I deserved it. To burn away the shame I brought to her family. I cannot get pregnant.’”24

In both Chinese and Muslim cultures, people feel obligated to treat insiders and outsiders differently. For both Chinese and many people from Muslim-dominate cultures, a strong sense of collective identity centers on national-ethnic group. In some contexts, the best one can hope for is to become an acceptable outsider. On the other hand, honor and hospitality are intricately linked in both contexts. The reasons for stressing hospitality are both moral and pragmatic.25 This shared value establishes common ground for Chinese building relationships with people in Muslim cultures. However, we should not assume that each culture shows hospitality in the same way.

Furthermore, we should consider an aspect of hospitality that is easily overlooked. Being a good guest is just as important as being a host. In Laughlin’s study, interviewees consistently found this a challenge in the contexts in which they served. Chinese certainly do not intentionally offend people from other cultures. Still, numerous reports in recent years show a lack of cultural awareness by many Chinese tourists, even drawing rebukes from the Chinese government.26

A significant difference between China and other honor-shame contexts concerns the relationship between religion and culture. In Muslim cultures, honor is inseparable from religious symbols and practice. How Chinese guests handle and speak about the Qur’an and the prophet Mohammed, for example, can impact how Muslims view them. Throughout Chinese history, however, religion has largely been kept separate from the political sphere. This difference in cultural perspectives fosters an environment ripe for misunderstanding.

Many other issues are relevant and noteworthy. Space, however, prevents the present article from examining each subject in sufficient detail. To conclude this section, I will briefly highlight several matters that deserve attention.

For example, what are those standards that determine moral decision-making in the local context? As Roland Muller explains, “Right and wrong in Islam are usually defined in terms of what is forbidden by the Qur’an”; yet, particular communities dictate local norms of honor and shame.27 Nonconformity brings shame. When making decisions, many Arabs will think first about their reputation, not “the nature of the deed itself” (i.e., whether it is right or wrong).28 One is expected to hide failure and wrongdoing. Muller recounts an Arab proverb that states, “A concealed shame is two-thirds forgiven.”29

How do Chinese and local Muslims differ in the way they defend their honor? While both communities excel in using indirect communication when needed, in what cases do people feel compelled to retaliate in some manner?

How is conflict resolved? What is the role of mediators? In what ways might the goals of peace or harmony differ between Chinese and Muslim hosts?

How might the issues of land and sacred space affect perceptions of honor/shame? In China’s more secularized environment, such concerns may never arise in the mind of a typical Chinese. For many Muslims, however, “land is even more valuable than a wife. If an individual’s honor is threatened, the honor of the whole group is threatened. If family land is in jeopardy, the territory of kinship is affected. Land is the most sensitive issue in Mediterranean countries and is directly related to honor.”30

How do expectations about gender differ? Chinese are well advised to consider what they convey when they default to customary patterns of behavior between men and women as well as those of the same gender? Whereas people of the same gender might express friendship through hand holding in China, how might this be perceived in a specific Muslim context?

These comments merely scratch the surface. Still, they raise the type of questions that we must think about in order to train Chinese missionaries to serve in Muslim contexts. Since Muslim cultures are not monolithic, answers to these questions will vary depending on the specific culture being discussed.

Preliminary Questions

In what follows, I list a number of questions that Chinese missionaries might ask when serving or preparing to serve Muslims in honor-shame cultures.

Honor and Shame Language

As best as possible, identify terms concerning honor/shame that most correlate across languages. Keep in mind that most cultures do not use honor and shame as often as other words, phrases, and idioms. Do not merely look for synonyms. Rather, consider an array of terms related to honor/shame (e.g., reputation, status, etc.). This learning process will also facilitate better understanding of the culture and appropriate communication.

Social Interaction

Who do people want to please? From whom do they want approval and acceptance?

Who are the cultural heroes whom people aspire to imitate?

What are common, uniting values in local groups?

How do people express loyalty?

What are the standard practices and expectations concerning reciprocity?

What is my status relative to the person with whom I’m relating? How do we respond in circumstances where relative status might be ambiguous (e.g., a younger teacher speaking with an elder; communicating to the opposite gender; non-parents speaking to parents)?

Purity Language

Honor and shame are often conveyed in terms of purity, cleanliness, disgust, sacredness, and related ideas. Such concepts concern boundaries and social acceptability. The following are questions worth exploring for those seeking to understand and minister in honor-shame contexts.

In the local culture, how do people use holiness or purity language?

What places, activities, and people are regarded as sacred or holy?

How do people misunderstand the standard for (im)purity or holiness?

In the church, what behaviors make the church look impure?

How might we use this “purity” or “holiness” theme to preach the gospel, communicate biblical truth, and train the church?

Group Identity

The influence of honor and shame are most evident in collectivist contexts since they are inherently social concepts. The following questions can prove helpful.

How do people define “insiders” and “outsiders”? How do people become “insiders” or “outsiders”?

How do people prioritize social relationships? Who is prioritized with respect to social deference, resource allocation, etc.?

Cultural Identity

What are prominent cultural boundary markers (e.g., circumcision, holidays, other rituals)?

How do people view or talk about their history and cultural ideals?

In the minds of local people, what makes their culture worthy of honor?

When has their country suffered shame?


As noted in the introduction, respect for hierarchy and authority are key aspects of an honor-shame worldview. The following questions can guide cultural understanding and mission strategy.

Who has formal and informal authority? In other words, who has the most ability to influence other people?

What do authorities require of followers or subordinates?

How do people express loyalty to leaders?

What is the role of benefactor or patronage?

What determines social hierarchy? On what is it based (e.g., economics, ethnicity, education, age, gender)?

How do people use power? What are symbols of power (e.g., flag, staff, clothing)?


This essay initiates a larger, much needed conversation. It explores the question, “How do people from one honor-shame culture prepare to work as missionaries in other honor-shame contexts?” Honor and shame do not exist in the abstract; they always manifest in concrete ways. Therefore, it examines a specific situation; namely, the work of Chinese missionaries serving in various Muslim-contexts.

The particular ways in which missionaries will contextualize their ministry will depend on the specific ways that a local culture expresses its honor-shame worldview. Nevertheless, certain features tend to characterize people shaped by an honor-shame worldview. Prioritizing relationships leads to an emphasis on group identity. A respect for authority solidifies social hierarchies. The desire for order strengthens the power of tradition. One’s social status is largely contingent on how well a person upholds these values.

This article is only one small step forward. It offers an initial framework for seeking context specific strategies and training methodologies. More practical applications will emerge as people from diverse contexts and experience continue to collaborate and strategize.

Jackson Wu (PhD) served 15 years in East Asia as a church planter and seminary professor before joining Mission ONE as the theologian-in-residence. He regularly blogs at and is the author of Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes (IVP Academic, 2019), One Gospel for All Nations (William Carey Library, 2015), and Saving God’s Face: A Chinese Contextualization of Salvation through Honor and Shame (WCIU Press, 2012).

1 Cf. David A. deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2000); Jackson Wu, Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2019); Among historical and sociological treatments, cf. Anthony Appiah, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (New York: Norton, 2010); Graham Scambler, A Sociology of Shame and Blame: Insiders Versus Outsiders (New York: Palgrave Pivot, 2019).

2 Bruce Malina, The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology, 3rd ed. (Atlanta: John Knox, 2001), 30.

3 For a more nuanced explanation, see Jackson Wu, “Eastern versus Western Honor & Shame,”, April 26, 2017,

4 Jackson Wu, “Have Theologians No Sense of Shame? How the Bible Reconciles Objective and Subjective Shame,” Themelios 43, no. 2 (2018): 206–7.

5 See Hui Ching Chang and G. Richard Holt, “A Chinese Perspective on Face: A Inter-Relational Concern,” in The Challenge of Facework: Cross-Cultural and Interpersonal Issues, ed. Stella Ting-Toomey, Suny Series in Human Communication Processes (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994), 95.

6 B. J. Yang, Mengzi yizhu [Translated notes on Mencius] (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 1960), 80.

7 Richard Beck, Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality (Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 2012), 48.

8 See Jackson Wu, “Seeking God’s Face: Honor and Shame in the Sacrificial System” (paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Evangelical Theological Society, Atlanta, GA, November 2015).

9 Tabor Laughlin, “Factors Impacting Cultural Adjustment and Retention of Chinese Cross-Cultural Workers” (PhD diss., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, April 2019).

10 Ibid., 70; emphasis added.

11 Ibid., 70.

12 Ibid., 93; emphasis added.

13 Ibid., 72.

14 Ibid., 76.

15 Ibid., 73.

16 Ibid., 94.

17 Ibid., 132.

18 Sherifa Zuhur, “Middle Eastern Notions of Honor,” Science Encyclopedia,

19 See Jin Li, Lianqin Wang, and Kurt W. Fischer, “The Organisation of Chinese Shame Concepts?” Cognition & Emotion 18, no. 6 (October 2004): 767–97.

20 Cristian Dumitrescu, “Shame and Honor: Biblical Understandings and Islamic Cultural Reflections,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 1, no. 1 (2005): 18.

21 Ibid., 18.

22 Ibid., 19.

23 Ibid., 19.

24 Audrey Frank, Covered Glory (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2019), 49–50.

25 See Magnus Marsden, “Fatal Embrace: Trading in Hospitality on the Frontiers of South and Central Asia,” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18 (2012): 117–30.

26 See Adam Taylor, “Beijing Is Embarrassed about Unruly Chinese Tourists and Plans to ‘Publicly Shame’ Them,” Washington Post, Worldviews Section, January 16, 2015,; Mark Johanson, “Chinese Tourists Told To Fix ‘Uncivilized Behavior’ Have Their Own Request: Treat Us Better,” International Business Times, Media and Culture Section, May 21, 2013,

27 Roland Muller, The Messenger, The Message, and the Community: Three Critical Issues for the Cross-Cultural Church Planter (Manitoba, Canada; CanBooks, 2010), 182–83.

28 Ibid., 182.

29 Ibid., 182.

30 Dumitrescu, 20.

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