Skip to toolbar
 

Oralities & Literacies – Prologue

The following is a chapter from the book ‘Oralities and Literacies: Implications for Communication and Education‘.  A chapter will be posted here each week.

Prologue

by Samuel E. Chiang

We were in rhythm, beating, drumming, and having fun. We talked, prayed, explored, and with curiosity nibbled at knowledge wells. We practiced healthy skepticism, exchanged theories and modalities, and surprised ourselves with ‘aha’ moments.  This all took place at the fourth global consultation on ‘orality and theological education’ which was aptly themed: Orality and Literacies.

Oklahoma Baptist University, the home of the Avery T. Willis[1] Center for Global Outreach, hosted this by invitation only global gathering of practitioners, theologians, scripture translators. On her beautiful campus, we were in an environment of creativity and sensing potential innovation.

Orality as a discipline is maturing in the 21st century.  Theological institutions, churches, and organizations are embracing orality as a strategy for instructional design, a complementation to curricula, and a functional implementation to serve their audiences.

Neuroscience studies in multiple fields are informing and supporting orality as a discipline. Cognitive linguistics, as an adjacent field of study in the larger field of linguistics, provides framework of language, culture and mind. Embodied cognition, in a separate adjacent field of study, provides framework of human cognition that is informed by one’s body in combination with the brain and beyond the brain.  New understanding about brain plasticity and wiring is working in conjunction with our acquisition of languages at an younger age and a resurgence of recitation through memory work, the refueling of orality is making this 21st century discipline like that of the first century and prior.

Early in the history of Israel, orality-literacies-modalities were faithfully recorded in scripture:

Moses came with Joshua  son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”’ Deuteronomy 32:44—47 (NIV).

The children of Israel, the receptive audience heard the figures and cadences, sung the songs that were taught to them, and memorized their history so as to pass on to the next generation.

The men and women gathered at Oklahoma Baptist University continued to explore, ponder, and discover new landmarks in orality, they are captured in the ensuing chapters. This group commissioned a further expedition to serve the all-Africa orality consultation at Daystar University a few months later. The group also served as brain trust for Serampore College (a college started by William Carey, and now a university network in India) and its launch of the brand new Biblical Translation and Orality at the undergrad and graduate level.

The freshness of thinking by the men and women as captured in the chapters of this book will ignite further conversations. May I commend this book to you.

Notes

Avery Willis was the Founder and first Executive Director of the International Orality Network (orality.net).

 

Ordering Hard Copies

To order hard copies, please fill out the form below.

    Related Content

    Upcoming Events


    Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /var/www/vhosts/orality.net/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/wp-spamshield/wp-spamshield.php on line 2033
    • Virtual Storytelling Training

      December 14 @ 10:00 am - December 18 @ 1:00 pm EST at Virtual

      Join StoryRunners for a virtual workshop to get hands-on experience with oral Bible storytelling. This captivating method will help you connect with and internalize God’s Word in a unique, powerful way. This will be both a devotional and training experience that will equip you to use...

    • Virtual Storytelling Training

      January 4, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - January 8, 2021 @ 3:00 pm EST at Virtual

      Join StoryRunners for a virtual workshop to get hands-on experience with oral Bible storytelling. This captivating method will help you connect with and internalize God’s Word in a unique, powerful way. This will be both a devotional and training experience that will equip you to use...

    • e3 Oral Strategies Story Training for Trainers ON-LINE Training Workshop

      January 18, 2021 @ 9:00 am - January 29, 2021 @ 2:00 pm UTC-6 at e3 Partners Ministry

      This will be a 6-day ON-LINE course running Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning January18th and going through January 29th, 2021 - scheduled as below: Monday, January 18th 9:00 am - 2:00 pm CST Wednesday, January 20th 9:00 am - 2:00 pm CST Friday, January 22nd...

    • Reaching the New Marginalized

      April 9, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+8

      ION ZOOM-TABLE: "Reaching the New Marginalized and the Further Marginalized." Due to health issues and crisis interventions from some of our panelists we need to reschedule the event.  The Web-Table Discussion will now gather on April 9, 2021. Thanks for your understanding!  And, please remembe...

    View All Events
     
    Join the ION Community!

    Notice: Undefined variable: royal_prettyphoto_tab_url in /var/www/vhosts/orality.net/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/rt-prettyphoto/rt-prettyphoto.php on line 175

    Notice: Undefined variable: royal_prettyphoto_text_for_tab in /var/www/vhosts/orality.net/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/rt-prettyphoto/rt-prettyphoto.php on line 175