Orality Research Primer

Walking the intersection of science and faith Prepared by Adriana Donaldson, Charles Madinger, Nicholas Nickl, and Emily Pohl   A Primer for Research in Orality Go ye therefore, and teach all nations Matthew 28:19, KJV Congratulations for having gotten...

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Orality In the Academy and Beyond

Increasing numbers of missionaries, mission executives, pastors, and cross-cultural church planters are coming to an awareness and recognition that the Orality Movement is transformational in our time. In fact, some now acknowledge that Orality is changing ...

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A Look at the Jesus Story, Oral Tradition and Eyewitness Memory

Even though the Christian can always offer certain dates for the Gospels, it should remembered that there was a gap of time between the ascension of Jesus and when the Gospel authors actually wrote their individual biographies about the life of Jesus. There...

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The Science of Storytelling

A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that? When Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich started to market his product through stories instead of benefits and bullet points, sign-ups went through the roof. Here he shares ...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 10 – The Rationale for Orally Communicating the Scriptures

God has given our privileged generation many gifts that no other generation has known in the combination that we have including, but not limited to: A widening expertise for exegeting the Scriptures, A widening permission for translators that they may commu...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 9 – Communicating Christ Among Oral Cultures

This chapter seeks to address the question: “How should our understanding of the orality/oralities question affect our approaches to communication generally and more specifically in Christian ministry and cross-cultural missions?” This question needs some ...

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Orality and the Post-Literate West

Communication skills in an oral culture are alien to the highly-literate, well-educated westerner. Most technical specialists, who go to "developing" countries tend to be this type of westerner. The natural human oral orientation has usually been lost to t...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 8 – From Kushe to Jos

I invite you to take a walk with me down my road from Kushe to Jos, Nigeria. It is a road that includes many kinds of people and different levels of orality. Every step closer to Jos finds people learning the orientation of textuality and skilled further i...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 7 – Oral Methodology, Adult Learning, and Women’s Health Education

Once upon a time a young health teacher went to Africa to use her public health degree in a rural mission project. She loved the idea of teaching health to physically and spiritually needy women in villages. She was surprised to discover that her educationa...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 6 – Oralities and Implications to Education

In this chapter, I offer introductory definitions of 'orality' and 'education' and overviews of ACTEA (the accrediting agency for theological education in Africa) and Africa's orality context. I then identify implications of oralities learning approaches fo...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 5 – Playing By Ear

Okay class, open your Bibles to the book of Matthew. Would a volunteer please sing the workers in the vineyard parable, and include the whole class somehow? Great Emily, it’s Matthew 20:1-19. “So once upon a time, there was a story set to rhyme, about worke...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 4 – Encountering Text as Multimodal Experience

The world outside school today is replete with words married to images, sounds, the body, and experiences…This new world is a multimodal world. Language is one mode; images, actions, sounds, and physical manipulation are other modes. Today, students need to...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 3 – Orality and Literacy Revisited

Thirty-three years ago Walter Ong published his life’s work in Orality and Literacy. The book was republished in 2002 and again on its 30th anniversary in 2012, showing enduring interest in Ong’s scholarship and ideas. The first volume appeared at a time wh...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 2 – Story-based Trauma Healing

In this chapter, I give a rationale and history of the development of Trauma Healing. In a second section, I explain the development of the Story-based Trauma Healing for oral communicators. Finally, I discuss outcomes: results, lessons learned, and possibl...

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Oralities & Literacies – Chapter 1 – Synthesizing the Orality Debate

Orality as a field of study is relatively young. We have a thesis, but we should expect antithesis and strive for a more accurate and nuanced synthesis. For the field of orality to advance, the status quo must be challenged, however painful the process may ...

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Oralities & Literacies – Editor’s Introduction

Oralities and Literacies is long overdue in the sequence of publications focused on the Oral Majority. This volume reflects an emerging approach to publication that begins with a static version (e-publication and hard copy) with embryonic content. The respo...

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Oralities & Literacies – Prologue

We listened intently to a description of how children’s soccer teams were trained. It was June 2009 and Rev. Dr. Sameh Maurice, Senior Pastor of Kasr El-Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, Egypt, was speaking animatedly. At the end of our coffee shop conver...

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Fad or Renaissance? Misconceptions of the Orality Movement

Seventy percent of the world’s population cannot or chooses not to read! This astounding observation prompted the rise of the orality movement to help missionaries understand and reach oral learners. This article summarizes the recent orality movement by ad...

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Tracking the Orality Movement

“You’re not going to bed till I hear about what you’ve been doing in Palawan,” I impatiently said to Trevor McIlwain at the New Tribes Mission guest home in Manila. That conversation evolved into McIlwain speaking at the upcoming New Tribes Mission (NTM) So...

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The Spoken Word: God, Scripture, and Orality in Missions

Despite this abundance of practical guides, orality studies have no fixed theological maps by which to chart the journey to proclaim the biblical message. Developing sound theological direction from which one performs orality in ministry is therefore crucia...

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Orality as the Key to Understanding Apostolic Proclamation in the Epistles

St. Paul, it is generally acknowledged, was schooled in the finest rhetorical tradition of the Graeco-Roman world. As a student of Gamaliel, he also inherited a rich rabbinic legacy of immersion in the Word of God. St. Paul’s manner is utterly foreign to us.

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Why Study Orality with Tom O’Loughlin

Prof. Thomas O'Loughlin of the University of Nottingham explores the significance of how we communicate. Christianity emerged in an oral culture, it then played a central role in created the culture of the word-on-paper, and now has to relearn orality for ...

India Orality Think Tank Report

The first ION Orality Think Tank in India took place at the ISI, New Delhi. We were privileged to have a group of 35 participants from a wide variety of ministries in the fields of Bible translation, development, church planting & disciple-making, Theologic...

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Orality Global Mapping Project

The Orality Global Mapping Project was conceived to meet the needs of mission agencies who are building strategies and designing instruction for the world’s oral majority. Despite the excellent research done to identify unreached people groups and languages...

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The Worldwide Spread of Bible Storying: A Look at Where We’ve Been

An overview of the recent history and expansion of the Bible Storytelling movement.

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The Extent of Orality: 2012 Update

Using UN and OCED stats, the author shares how a credible analysis emerges concerning the size of oral preference learners in the world today.

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Research & Innovations

Pathways include: Statistics; metrics; research projects; methodologies; technology…

Dr. Charles Madinger

Dr. Charles Madinger (Chuck) serves as ION's International Director, and with 4.2.20 Foundation as Vice President, Center for Oral Scriptures. Chuck has invested more than 30 years in discipleship and global evangelism. Following his leadership as a miss...

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