Teaching through Song in Antiquity

Gordley, Matthew E.  Teaching through Song in Antiquity. Didactic Hymnody among Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians
2011. XIV, 445 pages. WUNT II 302

ISBN 978-3-16-150722-9
sewn paper € 89.00

Matthew E. Gordley

Teaching through Song in Antiquity

Didactic Hymnody among Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians

While scholars of antiquity have long spoken of didactic hymns, no single volume has defined or explored this phenomenon across cultural boundaries in antiquity. In this monograph Matthew E. Gordley provides a broad definition of didactic hymnody and examines how didactic hymns functioned at the intersection of historical circumstances and the needs of a given community to perceive itself and its place in the cosmos and to respond accordingly. Comparing the use of didactic hymnody in a variety of traditions, this study illuminates the multifaceted ways that ancient hymns and psalms contributed to processes of communal formation among the human audiences that participated in the praise either as hearers or active participants. The author finds that in Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian contexts, many hymns and prayers served a didactic role fostering the ongoing development of a sense of identity within particular communities.

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