Music and Mission: Toward a Theology and Practice of Global Song

By Thornburg, John | The Hymn, Winter 2008 | Go to article overview

Music and Mission: Toward a Theology and Practice of Global Song


Thornburg, John, The Hymn


Music and Mission: Toward a Theology and Practice of Global Song edited by S T Kimbrough, Jr. New York: General Board of Global Ministries, GBGMusik, 2006. 181 pp. ISBN 10: 1-933663-08-1. U.S. $14.95.

If a person who is now experiencing songs from different parts of the Christian world asks the question, "How did we get to where we are now?", this book will be an invaluable guide. If the same person asks, "What is the value of singing songs from other cultures, and how are they best sung?", this book will also be deeply helpful. If that person is a Methodist, he or she will go three for three.

This collection of fourteen essays is one of the fruits of the Global Praise Working Group, an ecumenical gathering of song catchers and composers first brought together in 1993 by Hymn Society member, S T Kimbrough, founding director of United Methodism's Global Praise Program. Historical summaries by Carl ton Young and C. Michael Hawn speak of major movements in sharing song across continental boundaries and key individuals who believed in the power of song to unite believers. Essays on the practical theological impact of sharing songs across the world by Per Harling, a Swedish Lutheran; Tom Colvin, a Scottish Presbyterian; and Pablo Sosa, an Argentinian Methodist, all widen the perspective beyond North American sensitivities. …

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