An Annotated Anthology of Hymns

Hymns are “important in the history of ideas, the formation of culture, and the inner life of individual readers,” J. R. Watson reminds us in this time when the disciplines of hymn writing and singing are undervalued by many Christian worshipers. Watson selects 250 English hymns he finds exemplary and explores the impact of this unique art form on the collective Christian soul.

The anthology is a companion piece to Watson’s widely acclaimed The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study (1997). An emeritus professor of English at the University of Durham, England, he has served on the committee for the English collection Common Praise (2000) and has undertaken the monumental challenge of editing a replacement for Julian’s Dictionary of Hymnology, a standard reference work for hymnologists.


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