Moving Toward Emancipatory Language: A Study of Recent Hymns

Overview

Each week, millions of English-speaking Christians sing hymns—songs that shape their understanding of and relationship with God. In Moving Toward Emancipatory Language, Robin Knowles Wallace considers the breadth of hymnic language and examines the extent to which that language can reflect contemporary theological concerns. She examines the history of hymns and emancipatory theology, and gives a careful analysis of recent hymns and their emancipatory potential. Wallace provides a balanced account of the ...

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Overview

Each week, millions of English-speaking Christians sing hymns—songs that shape their understanding of and relationship with God. In Moving Toward Emancipatory Language, Robin Knowles Wallace considers the breadth of hymnic language and examines the extent to which that language can reflect contemporary theological concerns. She examines the history of hymns and emancipatory theology, and gives a careful analysis of recent hymns and their emancipatory potential. Wallace provides a balanced account of the intersection of theology, rhetoric, and linguistics in hymn texts, including comments from congregations and worship leaders. An intersection of women's studies, religious studies, and church music history, this work is of interest to teachers and students in those disciplines as well as choir directors, clergy, and congregants.

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Editorial Reviews

Doxology
[Knowles Wallace's] process is fascinating...unmistakable is the value of this work as a whole. Preachers and teachers of worship will find its methods of hymn analysis invaluable. Anyone who loves congregational song will profit also from its discussion of how hymn poems work linguistically.
Homiletic
...provides a way for students of hymnody to learn what may well be thought of in theological circles as "hymn exegesis."
The American Organist
...the gracious tone with which Knowles Wallace presents her passion for emancipatory hymn texts is a welcome contribution to the immense task ahead of providing hymns to help emancipate Christians from androcentrism.
Theology Today
In clear and lively prose, Wallace helps us trace how the great theological movements of the last thirty years are reshaping the poetic language of serious hymn writers...In an age when many churches are fractured by wars over worship and music, this book stands out for the depth and wisdom of its insight into the transformation of our corporate prayer.
Worship
There is much food for thought in this book, and Robin Knowles Wallace has provided an outstanding study of both recent hymn texts and of the language issues that are facing the church and its hymnody today. This book is appropriate for pastors, ministers of music, and others who are concerned about the language the church uses in its worship.
Worship
There is much food for thought in this book, and Robin Knowles Wallace has provided an outstanding study of both recent hymn texts and of the language issues that are facing the church and its hymnody today. This book is appropriate for pastors, ministers of music, and others who are concerned about the language the church uses in its worship..
Booknews
Explores a strand of English-language hymn texts intended for congregational singing which have poetic qualities and are strophic, based on rhyme and meter. Methodologies from the fields of rhetoric, linguistics, theology, and hymnology are used. Considers this strand of hymn texts within the context of Christian worship from the perspectives of Judeo-Christian history and theology, and introduces and defines the concept of emancipatory language in relation to liturgical language in general and hymns in particular. Uses the methodology of multidimensional reading with six hymn texts that appear in recent mainline denominational hymnals, and reports on reactions to the studied texts from clergy and laypersons. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Robin Knowles Wallace has been a Director of Music and/or Organist in churches since 1967. She is also Assistant Professor of Worship and Music at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

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Table of Contents

Series Editors' Foreword
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. I Hymns 3
Ch. 1 What Is a Hymn? 5
Ch. 2 About Texts 21
Ch. 3 The State of Hymnody 47
Pt. II Emancipatory Language 53
Ch. 4 An Introduction to the Word Emancipatory 55
Ch. 5 Weaving Emancipatory Language 65
Ch. 6 Hymns and Emancipatory Language 93
Pt. III Multidimensional Readings 97
Ch. 7 Developing a Method of Multidimensional Reading 99
Ch. 8 God of the Sparrow God of the Whale: A Multidimensional Reading 105
Ch. 9 Source and Sovereign, Rock and Cloud: A Multidimensional Reading 119
Ch. 10 Bring Many Names: A Multidimensional Reading 141
Ch. 11 Lead on, O Cloud of Presence: A Multidimensional Reading 161
Ch. 12 Of Women, and of Women's Hopes We Sing: A Multidimensional Reading 175
Ch. 13 O Holy Spirit, Root of Life: A Multidimensional Reading 189
Pt. IV Praxis 205
Ch. 14 Praxis: Seeking Communal Affirmation 207
Ch. 15 Conclusion 233
Sources Cited 245
Index: General 259
Index: Hymn Texts and Tunes 266
Index: Biblical Citations 268
About the Author 269
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