Shame and Honour on the African Continent

I am trying to write a book about the dynamics of Shame and the Gospel. I have asked for comments on a first draft of the text  from a lecturer at the college I attended when training for ministry in the Church of England. One of many thoughtful and helpful comments he made related to the prevalence of sources from a Middle Eastern and Asian context and the limited references to the theme of shame in African literature.

I follow a blog from Jayson Georges called honorshame.com which was founded in 2013 and now acts as the digital platform of the Honor-Shame Network. In 201.. Jayson Georges wrote a short post about the paucity of literature about honour and shame coming from the African context (http://honorshame.com/honor-shame-in-africa).

I took the comments from my college lecturer and the post from honorshame.com as a challenge to research what literature exists that focusses on shame in a Sub-Saharan African context.

This article (link below) provides some insight into what literature is available and gives some idea of the breadth of issues considered.

African Shame Issues

The survey is by no means exhaustive and I would very much appreciate any pointer to other sources and/or relevant areas of study.

In addition to the works referred to in my article it is worth noting the existence of the book written by Mark S. Aidoo.

“Shame in the Individual Lament Psalms and African Spirituality” (Mark S. Aidoo) 

I have not yet read the book but it appears to be a significant addition to the list of texts referred to  in the blog from honorshame.com. This is what advertisers say about the book.

The book explores how the rhetorical function of ‘shame’ and its cognates within twelve Individual Lament Psalms (ILP) reflect persuasive responses aimed at enhancing the relational spirituality of the psalmist. It argues that the Hebrew terminology of ‘bws is used as a response to enhance a spirituality of relatedness. The author argues that the plea for positive shame is to enhance positive spirituality that leads to changes of attitude, repentance, faithfulness, self-knowledge, and wholeness. Negative shame influences negative spirituality that leads to destruction and unworthiness. The volume reflects African Christian spirituality elucidating the psalmist’s perception of positive shame

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