pulling largely from a lecture given by Nestor Medina here at LTS, i think it's time to talk about Bias and Culture.
lots of talk about culture, but how best can we define it?
there's many ways, i'll attempt to define it here and then discuss what it means to COEXIST.
Culture is 1. a sum total of rules that shape belief, communication, and thinking, 2. refers to particular ways of thinking, acting, and organizing aspects of housing, technology, art, family dynamics, and science, 3. gives coherence and totality in relation to the rest of the world and is transmitted from one generation to the next.
or as my Giradian buddy Bryce would define it: culture is what keeps you from retributively killing people.
example of two cultures coming together: A Danish man and Egyptian man go to play a game of billards. When asked (by a third party) how good they are at billards the Dane replies "I've played before" and the Egyptian replies "I'm very good at this game." Both exhibit their culture... Danish culture values humility where Egyptian culture values embellishment. Imagine the surprise and potential conflict when the Dane throughly thrashes the Egyptian.
now based on these definitions and this understanding of "culture" i would say that one cannot get outside of one's cultural bias. here are some ways of thinking about culture historically in terms of one's "Holy Scriptures" according to the Medina lecture:
Acculturation: Taking a book from another culture and placing it in one's own: i.e. the Bible is Angelo (although it was written by the Hebrews amid their pressures from Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman Cultures). or as Yael pointed out, the Christians claiming the Torah as THEIRS but largely ignoring and dismissing it.
Enculturation: Our way of thinking is the best! The Qu'ran is Arabic therefore one must be Arabic to be Muslim or the Gospel is Angelo Culture, therefore one must become Angelo to be Christian. This is a false assumption and we've seen the effects on the world in missionaries and Colonial though processes.
Inculturation: Use resonate images to convert other cultures. You guys believe in charity? WE DO TOO! Here's where our scriptures are doing what y'all already are. This is apologetics and falsely thinks that the scripture can be removed from the culture.
Interculturation: Naming own culture specifically and seeing the positives and negatives. i believe this is the best way. when we talk about things, it's best to say "As a white, progressive Christian i see this issue this way" or "As an atheist woman" or "as a Muslim from Egypt" here it helps either party figure out how best to frame the interaction and the friction that occurs from both parties involved.
this is important to do as we're making assumptions about the other... what we should do is to name our assumptions from the get go, question the person we are in dialogue with, and let the "other" fill in their own blanks. for example, when coming to me and knowing that i'm a christian, don't think i'm a creationist, or think the Bible is THE word of GOD, or that i send other faiths to hell. i don't hold either belief as i believe in evolution and that the word of God is in the Bible amid the cultural bias and baggage.