Interpersonal conflict is one of the greatest threats to the health and growth of the church worldwide. Yet despite their best intentions, Christian leaders often discover that the cause of recurring conflict remains unclear and prescribed techniques for conflict resolution are ineffective in their communities.
In this Sri Lankan case study, Dr Mano Emmanuel examines the specifics of interpersonal conflict within a shame-oriented culture. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, she incorporates cultural anthropology, missiology, and communication studies into her analysis, identifying seven aspects of culture that must be addressed if reconciliation is to be fully experienced in the Sri Lankan church. Highlighting the parallels between contemporary honor-shame cultures and the honor-shame context of the New Testament, the author provides specific suggestions for experiencing biblical reconciliation while maintaining cultural sensitivity and protecting the honor of those involved.