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The Beauty and Value of the Oral Tradition

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

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.


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