Francis: Subverting the Honor / Shame System ~ MP3

Francis: Subverting the Honor / Shame System ~ MP3


In this teaching Richard Rohr offers insight into the life, vision, and vocation of St. Francis, as seen through the lens of Jesus’ teachings presented in the Gospel of Matthew.

Francis read the Scripture and saw how he had to change his own life in order to live in harmony with Jesus’ life and teachings. Richard contrasts this with today’s fundamentalists who read Scripture and see how others should change their lives.

Richard uses the tools of cultural anthropology to study how people in the Mediterranean worlds of Jesus and Francis of Assisi, although separated in time by centuries, shared the social milieu defined and bound by “honor and shame” systems. Richard reflects on how these systems place expectations and limits on men and women’s lives, and how Jesus and St. Francis sought to free people from the life-denying limitations caused by the honor and shame systems.

If we think that such systems do not exist in today’s world, we might be very surprised. Richard provides direct examples from the Gospel of Matthew to illustrate the call to seek the freedom of living in the inherent dignity granted to all human beings through the grace of God, instead of striving to accomplish salvation based on one’s accomplishments.

This teaching offers great insight as well as some excellent questions from the audience.

Approximate length: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Published in 2009

This is a downloadable MP3 audio file.