Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship

Lester Ruth (Editor); Th.D.Student Contributors
Wipf & Stock
Published Year: 
Cover image of "Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship" book

Lester Ruth, Ph.D., research professor of Christian worship at Duke Divinity School, has edited a scholarly volume of essays by students in the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degree program in liturgical studies on the liturgical phenomenon known as “Contemporary Worship” or as “Praise and Worship.”

The book, Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship, was published by Pickwick Publications, an imprint of Wipf & Stock, in March. It aims to push the historical study of this form of worship to a new level by offering an introduction to the phenomenon, documents critical aspects of its development, and suggests methods for future historical study.

This multi-authored work investigates topics in both the Pentecostal and mainline branches of this way of worship, looking at subjects little explored by prior work. The provocative issues explored include Integrity Hosanna! Music, James White, charismatic renewal, John Wimber, the development of second services, Black Gospel, overlooked (non-white) sources of worship music, degree programs for worship leaders, and Robert Webber.

In Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship, the student contributors advance the state of scholarship on this liturgical topic by each breaking new ground on their respective topics. Each essay is a unique and original contribution, detailing critical events and persons ignored by current literature.

Students contributing essays were Glenn Stallsmith, M.Div. ’17, a third-year Th.D. student; Adam Perez, a fourth-year Th.D. student; Wen Reagan, M.T.S. '08 and Ph.D. '15, and Jonathan Ottaway, a third-year Th.D. student.

A historian of Christian worship with particular interests in the history of contemporary praise and worship, Ruth also was the co-author of Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship in 2017 with Dr. Swee Hong Lim.