Let Justice Sing: Hymnody and Justice

Overview

LET JUSTICE SING begins with a survey that shows how justice is an urgent concern of recent hymn writers. To discover if twentieth-century Christians are the first to sing about justice, past hymnic repertoires from the psalms to African-American hymns are analyzed along with a couple related excursions. The broader context for hymnody is then addressed, especially in relation to worship, art, sentimentality, and culture. A final chapter suggests that Christians have always sung about justice, that the message ...
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Overview

LET JUSTICE SING begins with a survey that shows how justice is an urgent concern of recent hymn writers. To discover if twentieth-century Christians are the first to sing about justice, past hymnic repertoires from the psalms to African-American hymns are analyzed along with a couple related excursions. The broader context for hymnody is then addressed, especially in relation to worship, art, sentimentality, and culture. A final chapter suggests that Christians have always sung about justice, that the message transcends the messengers, that the most potent singing about justice keeps the whole Christian song intact, and that removing justice from the whole loses it. The book falls into three parts: content, context, and the importance of justice within the warp and woof of hymnody.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This work is informed by careful, critical thought, rooted in a theology of the cross, and sensitive to the challenges faced by musicians, pastors, and congregations as they seek to sing justice in a complex, pluralistic age. Mindful of the Scylla of a private piety and the Charybdis of a political agenda, Westermeyer helps us steer a course which, by staying close to Word and Sacrament, thrusts us into the world for which Christ died, not only to sing justice, but to do it. This is an important book on a critical subject and should serve the church well.
Robert A. Hausman

In this important work, Paul Westermeyer uncovers the hidden history of justice in pre-modern hymnody ancient, Reformation, ethnic and evangelical. He also astutely examines current justice concerns in worship and hymns with a discerning eye for the difference between the prophetic and the ideological. Especially perceptive is his discussion of inclusive language issues, one that strives to integrate the justice mandate with doctrinal fidelity. A rich resource for clergy, congregations, seminary students and musicians.
Gabriel Fackre, Abbot Professor of Christian Theology Emeritus, Andover Newton Theological School

Paul Westermeyer leads us into a wonderful exploration of deeper things - is it possible to be a follower of Christ and not have justice sing?
Dave Cherwien

Both pastors and musicians need to take up anew the responsibility to witness for justice. The book would make a wonderful catalyst for our rededication to this task.
The American Organist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814625057
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Series: American Essays in Liturgy Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author


Paul Westermeyer, PhD, is Professor of Church Music at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He teaches, directs music, and administers a master of sacred music degree program with St. Olaf College. His writing includes numerous articles and books.
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