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The Beauty and Value of the Oral Tradition

Storytelling can help us embrace the stories that have shaped our identities

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Christina Edmondson shares how oral cultures and storytelling can help us to embrace the stories that have shaped our identities and to relate to people from oral cultures in a more humanizing way.  

“We ascribe values to cultures,” Edmondson says. When it comes to “oral cultures,” there is a tendency in the North American context to think they are not as valuable as literary cultures. However, Jesus was the product of an oral culture and so are we: we are Christians because we were told the story of God’s love for us, and as Christians we worship a God of a story. There is beauty and value in oral tradition!

This presentation was given as part of a consultation on Christian worship and intergenerational faith formation for the urban context held at Calvin College in October 2016.