This book explores the role of sacred song in the development of the Methodist doctrinal heritage from the hymnody of the Wesleys to the sung theology of contemporary global Methodists. It shows primary axial themes of Methodist hymn writers who created a substantial corpus of lyrical material; and offers an historical approach, which includes global voices. Chilcote offers readers a path to better understand the deep connections between theology and what they sing, as they learn about the wide range of hymn and sacred song traditions within the Methodist family.
This volume also expands recent pioneering work in the sub-discipline of "lyrical theology" by exploring the role of sacred song in the development of the Methodist doctrinal heritage. Beginning with the hymns of Charles and John Wesley, each chapter explores the primary themes of Methodist hymn writers, who created a substantial corpus of lyrical material in the Wesleyan spirit in their own right. Topics include the gospel hymn tradition of Fanny Crosby and her other Methodist contemporaries; Charles A. Tindley and the black music heritage; as well as the more contemporary expressions of sung theology in the work of Fred Pratt Green, Natalie Allyn Sleeth, and Dan Damon.
Given the fact that individual hymns have shaped generations of Methodist singers, attention is paid to how the singular hymns of Mary Lathbury, Frank Mason North, and Georgia Harkness, effectively communicated a concern for biblical Christianity, the Social Gospel, and evangelical liberalism, respectively, at the beginning of the twentieth century. Likewise, global voices, namely, those of song writers such as Federico Pagura, I-to Lo, Patrick Matsikenyiri, and Simei Monteiro reflect the current emphasis on justice, joy, and journey among Methodists today.