Proverbs’ and cancel culture’s competing moral visions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article proposes that the vision of moral growth offered in Proverbs serves as an alternative and antidote to the contemporary phenomenon of cancel culture. After briefly surveying cancel culture, it begins by considering the chiasmus structure of Proverbs 9. This chapter indicates that reception to correction is a key characteristic of the wise person who seeks to dine at Wisdom’s table. Altogether, the proverbial theme of reproof indicates that the moral community that Proverbs envisions displays a willingness to give and receive corrective dialogue. This is a direct opposite to the phenomenon of cancel culture, which refuses to invest in others’ moral growth and instead wields a view of self-achieved moral mastery. Proverbs, by contrast, insists that a wise person’s receptivity to correction, and their correlative willingness to invest in others’ moral growth by rebuking them in love, is related to the wise person’s understanding of their place as a guest in a world hosted by Wisdom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-365
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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