August 25, 2018 (Holland Lectures) | C. Michael Hawn

Holland Lectures 2019
“Tell me what you sing and I’ll tell you who you are:
Developing a Congregational Identity through Congregational Singing”
with Dr. C. Michael Hawn

“Each generation must add its stanza to the great hymn of the church,” says my friend United Methodist Bishop Joel Martinez. What is our age saying about our faith and life that has not been said before? As important as it is to sing the songs of the saints, a vital sung faith should also incorporate the “new song” (Psalm 96:1). New songs, if chosen well, can point us in the direction the church should be heading. Yes, we can sing our way to a more faithful church.



C. Michael Hawn is one of our nation’s leading experts in hymnology and world music. Now a Richmonder, he recently retired after 25 years from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, as University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music and director of the Sacred Music Program. Previously he taught at two Baptist seminaries for a total of 15 years. He leads festivals and publishes extensively in the area of hymnology, is the USA Editor for the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, and writes a weekly hymn studies column entitled History of Hymns. A student of global Christian music, Hawn has conducted research and taught in over 40 countries. In addition, he has sung extensively as a countertenor and is a recovering accordion player.

Congregational singing both forms our individual faith perspective, but also shapes us as the body of Christ in community. These lectures will examine our hymnic heritage that have shaped our faith, look at some trends that are currently influencing the ecumenical church, and consider the cultural, societal, and ethical issues that inspire what we might sing in the future.

“Tell me what you sing and I’ll tell you who you are.” — Albert van den Heuvel (World Council of Churches, 1966)