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Wonderful Words of Life : Hymns in American Protestant History and Theology :  Hymns in American Protestant History and Theology - Mark A. Noll

Wonderful Words of Life : Hymns in American Protestant History and Theology

Hymns in American Protestant History and Theology

Paperback Published: March 2004
ISBN: 9780802821607
Number Of Pages: 288

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Foreword by John D. Witvliet

While many evangelical congregations have moved away from hymns and hymnals, these were once central fixtures in the evangelical tradition. This book examines the role and importance of hymns in evangelicalism, not only as a part of worship but as tools for theological instruction, as a means to identity formation, and as records of past spiritual experiences of the believing community.

Written by knowledgeable church historians, under the supervision of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, "Wonderful Words of Life explores the significance of hymn-singing in many dimensions of American Protestant and evangelical life. The book focuses mainly on church life in the United States but also discusses the foundational contributions of Isaac Watts and other British hymn writers, the use of gospel songs in English Canada, and the powerful attraction of African-American gospel music for whites of several religious persuasions. Includes appendixes on the American Protestant Hymn Project and on hymns in Roman Catholic hymnals.

Contributors: Susan Wise Bauer
Thomas E. Bergler
Virginia Lieson Brereton
Esther Rothenbusch Crookshank
Kevin Kee
Richard J. Mouw
Mark A. Noll
Felicia Piscitelli
Robert A. Schneider
Rochelle A. Stackhouse
Jeffrey VanderWilt

Joel Carpenter
"At least since the time when Paul and Silas sang from the depths of the Philippian jail, praising God with hymns has been central to the Christian faith. Isn't it odd, then, that so little careful study has been devoted to popular hymnody? True religion, Jonathan Edwards once said, can never be doctrinal knowledge only, 'without affection.' Vital faith is rather 'a ferment, a vigorous engagedness of the heart.' Few human acts can so powerfully fuse heads, hearts, hands, and voices like singing, and these authors show how multidimensional vocal praise has been. For American Protestants, hymn singing is nearly sacramental; it also can be political. Hymn singing expresses theological ideas, challenges common wisdom, defines and enacts community, and roots the gospel in culture."Wonderful Words of Life"models the kind of scholarship we need for every time and place where Christianity has gone, to understand the powerful effects of ordinary people singing praise to God. "
John Wilson
"Collections of scholarly essays typically gather dust, their spines hardly cracked, their pages pristine and unread. By contrast, copies of this superb book will soon be as well-thumbed as your grandmother's hymnal. If you want to understand the evangelical stream of what gets called 'religion in practice' these days, there's no better place to start. "
William Hutchison
"This stimulating collection provides much-needed coverage and enrichment in a neglected sector of American religious experience. The thoughtful and thought-provoking essays do not 'their own appointed limits keep, ' but venture in illuminating ways beyond the American scene and beyond evangelical Protestantism. Teachers of cultural and religious history will be indebted to these authors."
"Journal of the American Academy of Religion"
"A welcome addition to our knowledge and evaluation of important strands of American hymnody.""
Joel Carpenter
-At least since the time when Paul and Silas sang from the depths of the Philippian jail, praising God with hymns has been central to the Christian faith. Isn't it odd, then, that so little careful study has been devoted to popular hymnody? True religion, Jonathan Edwards once said, can never be doctrinal knowledge only, 'without affection.' Vital faith is rather 'a ferment, a vigorous engagedness of the heart.' Few human acts can so powerfully fuse heads, hearts, hands, and voices like singing, and these authors show how multidimensional vocal praise has been. For American Protestants, hymn singing is nearly sacramental; it also can be political. Hymn singing expresses theological ideas, challenges common wisdom, defines and enacts community, and roots the gospel in culture. Wonderful Words of Life models the kind of scholarship we need for every time and place where Christianity has gone, to understand the powerful effects of ordinary people singing praise to God. -

John Wilson
-Collections of scholarly essays typically gather dust, their spines hardly cracked, their pages pristine and unread. By contrast, copies of this superb book will soon be as well-thumbed as your grandmother's hymnal. If you want to understand the evangelical stream of what gets called 'religion in practice' these days, there's no better place to start. -

William Hutchison
-This stimulating collection provides much-needed coverage and enrichment in a neglected sector of American religious experience. The thoughtful and thought-provoking essays do not 'their own appointed limits keep, ' but venture in illuminating ways beyond the American scene and beyond evangelical Protestantism. Teachers of cultural and religious history will be indebted to these authors.-

Journal of the American Academy of Religion
-A welcome addition to our knowledge and evaluation of important strands of American hymnody.-

Series Prefacep. vii
Contributorsp. x
Introductionp. xii
In the Beginning was Watts
The Defining Role of Hymns in Early Evangelicalismp. 3
"We're Marching to Zion": Isaac Watts in Early Americap. 17
Hymnody and Politics: Isaac Watts's "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past" and Timothy Dwight's "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord"p. 42
Hymns and the Ordering of Protestant Life
Jesus Shall Reign: Hymns and Foreign Missions, 1800-1870p. 69
Marketing the Gospel: Music in English-Canadian Protestant Revivalism, 1884-1957p. 96
"I Found My Thrill": The Youth for Christ Movement and American Congregational Singing, 1940-1970p. 123
Protestant Hymnody in Contemporary Roman Catholic Worshipp. 150
White Folks "Get Happy": Mainstream America Discovers the Black Gospel Traditionp. 164
Hymns as Good (or Bad?) Theology
Singing about Death in American Protestant Hymnodyp. 179
Stories and Syllogisms: Protestant Hymns, Narrative Theology, and Heresyp. 205
"Some Poor Sailor, Tempest Tossed": Nautical Rescue Themes in Evangelical Hymnodyp. 234
American Protestant Hymns Project: A Ranked List of Most Frequently Printed Hymns, 1737-1960 (The Marini List)p. 251
"Hymns Recommended for Ecumenical Use" in Catholic Hymnbooksp. 265
Hymns in Roman Catholic Hymnalsp. 269
Index of Names and Subjectsp. 273
Index of Hymn (and Song) Titlesp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780802821607
ISBN-10: 080282160X
Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: March 2004
Publisher: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.9  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.43