August 18, 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

What can Christians sing together if they come from different countries, speak different languages, and have been nurtured in a wide range of Christian perspectives? For seventy years, an ecumenical monastic community in the village of Taizé in southeastern France has been a point of pilgrimage for young people from around the world. Amenities are spartan; Internet is sporadic; food is simple; the community is authentic and spiritually rich. What can we learn from Taizé song and this way of praying?



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)