Engaging people with the Bible is often a challenge but what about when working in the context of an oral culture? This is a huge issue in Bible and mission so any good reflection on the topic is to be warmly welcomed.

The theme of the April 2010 (vol. XXXVIII:2) issue of the journal Missiology: An International Review is ‘orality’. Here’s the contents:

Translation and the Visual Predicament of the “JESUS” Film in West Africa – Johannes Merz
Focusing on analysis of the “JESUS” film, this article shows that much more is communicated through a film’s cinematography than through its spoken message.

Discipling through the Eyes of Oral Learners – W. Jay Moon
By viewing a funeral through the eyes of an oral people, this article describes oral learning preferences, in order to reveal effective and transformative discipling practices.

Pedagogical Conversions: From Propositions to Story and Symbol – Tom Steffen
While living among the Ifugao people, the author discovers the multiple and integrative roles that stories and symbols play in communication.

Telling Our Stories Well: Creating Memorable Images and Shaping Our Identity – Janet Stahl
This article claims that wisdom gleaned from ancient practices reveals a place in storytelling both for recitation of Scriptural texts and for more creatively crafted techniques.

Bible Translation as Contextualization: The Role of Orality – James Maxey
Bible Translation is actually contextual theologizing in which local host communities demonstrate their appropriation and proclamation of the Bible in their own languages.

Matters of the Heart: Orality, Story and Cultural Transformation—The Critical Role of Storytelling in Affecting Worldview – A. Steven Evans
With storytelling in particular as a catalyst, worldviews, cultures, and values can change, resulting in the transformation of an individual’s life and of an entire culture as well.

Coming to Terms with Orality: A Holistic Model – Charles Madinger
A holistic approach to orality incorporates seven converging disciplines, which, when more fully incorporated, can increase the transformative power of a message.

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