Story of Our Hymns
by Ernest Edwin Ryden
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Ryden shared the lore of Christian hymns across many times and cultures not just in
The Story of Our Hymns, but also in a radio show of the same name that aired in
Minneapolis and St. Paul from 1928-1934. “To know the hymns of the Church is to know
something of the spiritual strivings and achievements of the people of God throughout
the centuries,” Ryden aptly wrote. Taking an historical perspective, he proceeds
chronologically, but divides the history of hymnology according to culture. First, he
recounts hymnology’s beginnings and development up until the Protestant Reformation.
Then, he tells the story of Protestant hymnology in Germany and Scandinavia. He ends
his history with the development of a hymn tradition in England and America.