Hymns--Theology

The power of sung theology: encountering God through congregational song

Author
Patricia Ann Slomanski
Abstract
Encountering God through the power of sung theology has existed since the beginning of human history. In fact, the Bible records how prominent "song" was during the days of the Hebrews, as well as in the early years of the Christian church. This report briefly explores how sung theology was used in the Bible, how theologians over the centuries debated its use, how sung theology has come to be used in the post-modern church, and, specifically, how it is practiced in two very different congregational settings. The model for this project is the case study in which both congregations have been carefully analyzed by the author and in which the pastors and members of both congregations have had the opportunity to express their own thoughts through the means of surveys and congregations. The project concludes with a call to all seminaries to consider offering worship music courses for those who are going into parish ministry.

Choosing contemporary worship music: a theological approach

Author
Russell T Miller
Abstract
Contemporary worship music is often criticized as being theologically shallow and/or too self-oriented. In order to determine the theological validity of contemporary worship music, the author created a theological analysis tool with both evaluative and non-evaluative questions. Applying that tool to a sample study of more than seventy contemporary worship songs, he determined that while there are many theologically inadequate songs in widespread usage, there are also a great number of contemporary worship songs that do contain theological integrity. The study provides pastors or worship leaders with information useful for creating contemporary worship experiences that retain that theological integrity.

A study of the English hymn in contemporary usage: its biblical, theological, historical and biographical aspects

Author
Courtney Albert Furman
Abstract
As a result of the practice of hymn singing the author of this dissertation experienced a nourished soul, instruction and solid biblical theology, and an increased desire to learn about hymns. The author's intention in this dissertation is to make the fruits of his intensive study of 52 of the greatest English hymns, available to all who will utilize them. It is his desire that this study be used by pastors of all ages and musical tastes, so that we, with Luther, might praise God with the gift of song, with both words and music, proclaiming the Word of God.

Theological edification of laity through congregational singing in the Protestant Reformed Church

Author
Mark R Griggs
Abstract
Many Presbyterian ministers claim that music has a profound impact on theological formation among laity, and that laity do not pay attention to the words they are singing and do not comprehend why a hymn has been chosen on a given Sunday. This dissertation proposes that pastors conscientiously plan and present corporate music accessing insights from educational theory. Pastors in three churches of different sizes and demographics in the San Francisco Presbytery were interviewed. Hundreds of pastors and educators from Canada and the United States were interviewed in groups. Literature was reviewed in the fields of the theology of music; educational theory; music the Reformed tradition, and current socio-cultural trends. Finding ways to ease the fear of change can help people be more receptive to learning. Provide information in a variety of ways. Involve people in the interpretive process. Integrate the programs of the church, namely worship, Christian education, and music leadership.

The Lock Hymn Tune Collection: hymns as a theology of worship

Author
Barbara N Salter
Abstract
This project demonstrates connections between an act of ministry as proclamation/herald and an act of ministry as teaching/performance. The Lock Hymn Tune Collection demonstrates these acts through performance of select hymns. A lecture/concert presented the hymn collection as a model for linking performance and proclamation. Hymns selected illustrate the growth of the collection, the variety of musical styles performed by the congregation, and the theological, social, and musical basis on which these hymns gradually evolved. Through an evaluation of the concert by both audience and performers, the project demonstrates imaginative use of historical texts and tunes in today's church. A commentary presented during the performance reflects on the history, purpose, and social context of the collection.

Theological beliefs expressed in the hymnody of two Churches of Christ

Author
Weston Harris Walker
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify and to describe the theological beliefs expressed in the hymns sung by two Churches of Christ. Hymns sung during a two-year period were analyzed and described using standard categories of systematic theology. The study concluded that both churches' hymnodies demonstrated comprehensive theological development in the key areas of belief. While the hymnodies' teachings are biblical, several areas were noted where discrepancies might have occurred between people's beliefs and the beliefs they expressed in their singing. The study suggests the need for theological examination of hymns and offers suggestions for further research.

Teaching some basic Wesleyan doctrines through the use of Charles Wesley's hymns

Author
Leon E Thompson
Abstract
This project assumes that theology can be taught through the use of hymns. Five Wesleyan doctrines are joined with fifteen of Charles Wesley's hymns. The author attempts to deepen the congregation's theological knowledge, develop their awareness of the hymns of Charles Wesley, deepen their appreciation of his hymns, and impact their spiritual life. The project includes five study sessions and five sermons preached in appropriate worship settings. Control groups measure the success of the project. When preaching and study sessions are combined, the method is effective.
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