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Hymns and Their Texts: Rhythmic, Rhymed Rituals of Language

As I prepared this talk, I also consulted with some of my hymn-text-writing colleagues. These are people who craft texts only, apart from music. I asked them questions along the lines of “why do you write hymn texts?” or “what value do you see in hymn texts?” and such. I don’t think it was a coincidence that there was a lot of resonance between their various responses, or that I was able to use their responses to sort my own perspectives together into six separate groups.

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To the Victor . . .

As I looked at those centuries-old structures in Spain, built by religious folk whose gods had beaten another’s, I thought of the increasing number of razed or re-purposed church buildings in the U.S. and found myself wondering what might or might not be left of current structures in the year 2500. Who will be viewed as the conquered or conqueror? I don’t pretend to be a savvy prognosticator, but I do believe that history is beginning to be written…today.

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