This essay collection, devoted to exploring the richness of Christian musical traditions in the Americas, reflects the distinctive critical perspectives of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, an association of scholars dedicated to exploring the intersections of Christian faith and musical scholarship. SCSM seeks to celebrate our work in the world and bring it to a larger audience by offering a cross-section of the most outstanding scholarship from an international array of writers. The collection follows a first collection published to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Society (Exploring Christian Song, M. Jennifer Bloxam and Andrew Shenton, editors, Lexington Books, 2017). The first volume focused on Christian song in a variety of different contexts.

This new collection of essays survey a broad geographical area and demonstrates the enormous diversity of music-making and scholarship within that area. While there are some studies that focus on a single country or region and its sacred music, this will be the first collection to present a representative cross-section of the range of sacred music in the Americas and the approaches to studying them in context.

Christian Sacred Music in the Americas will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in February 2021, and will beavailable online via their own website, and online stores such as Amazon.



Andrew Shenton and Joanna Smolko, “Exploring Christian Sacred Music in the Americas.”

I        Liturgical Music

  1. Cathy Ann Elias, “Liberation Theology: Affirmation and Homage in Three Brazilian Popular Masses.”
  2. Martha Thomae, “The Guatemalan Choirbooks: Facilitating Preservation, Performance, and Study of the Colonial Repertoire.”

II      Hymnology

  1. Andrew Granade, “Sweet Harmonies of Praise: Reviving Shape Note Singing in Rural Arkansas.”
  2. Joanna Smolko, “Hymns of Joyful Praise: Sacred Harp Singing in Athens, Georgia.”
  3. David W. Music “The Hymn Tunes of Thomas Hastings.”

III    Contemporary Worship

  1. Marcell Silva Steuernagel, “‘Evangélico e Brasileiro’: Brazil’s Alternative Christian Music Scene.”
  2. Jeff R. Warren “Ethics, Justice, and Politics in Contemporary Worship Music.”

IV     Paraliturgical Music

  1. Zen Kuriyama “‘Resignation’ and Virgil Thomson’s Hymns from the Old South.
  2. Delvyn Case, “Rock of Ages: Images of Jesus in Popular Music.”

V      Diasporic Music

  1. Jesse Karlsberg, “The Folk Scholarship Roots and Geopolitical Boundaries of Sacred Harp’s Global 21st Century.”
  2. Matthew Hoch “Anglican Diaspora: Episcopal Church Music in the Twenty First Century.”

VI     Indigenous and African American Music

  1. Andrew Janzen and Meiry Yakawa, “‘Woman, Arise and Speak’: Envisioning the Study of Indigenous Christian Song in Brazil.”
  2. Emma Wimberg, “From the Sun to the Son: How Christian Missionaries used Music to Evangelize the Choctaw People.”
  3. Stephen Michael Newby and Chelle Stearns, “Lift Every Voice and Sing: Embodying Black Theology in Song.”


Michael O’Connor, “Epilogue: Singing Worlds in the Americas.”


Admirable in its geographic reach and in its range of historical and ethnographic approaches, this volume offers a stimulating and welcome set of case studies that shed new light on areas of Christian sacred music that have not yet received the attention they deserve.

— Stephen E. Crist, professor of music history, Emory University

Christian Sacred Music in the Americas is a brilliantly interdisciplinary collection. The chapters coalesce to form a kaleidoscopic view—one that illuminates not only aspects of worship and spirituality but also of resistance, resilience, and reconciliation.

— Eftychia Papanikolaou, associate professor of musicology, Bowling Green State University

Refreshingly, this insightful volume expands the geographical frame from the typical focus on North America to “the Americas,” weaving Central and South American perspectives into its rich tapestry of voices. It is an excellent addition to any sacred music or American music course.

— Monique Ingalls, associate professor of music; affiliated faculty, religion, Baylor University