Storytelling and Related Topics

The following annotations provide information on sources that have been helpful in writing this book and in my general research on storytelling.

Alter, Robert. 1981. The art of biblical narrative. Basic Books. [A literary approach to the Bible (OT), taking into account sacred history and the beginnings of prose fiction, type-scenes and convention, narrative events, dialogue, characterization, reticence, repetition, and other formal features.]

Alter, Robert. 1985. The art of biblical poetry. Basic Books. [A literary approach to the Bible (OT) taking into account throughout the “basic convention of semantic parallelism rather than on the phonetic and syntactic elements of the system. Chapters include truth and poetry in the book of Job, forms of faith in Psalms, prophecy and poetry, the poetry of wit, the garden of the metaphor, and the life of the tradition.]

Amaladoss, Michael. 2006. The Asian Jesus. Mary knoll: Orbis Books. [Examples of how Jesus can best be referred to in a Hindu society and that “The choice of a particular image depends on how a person or group relates to Jesus, their attitudes and perspectives” (2006:9).  To Buddhists meditation or mindfulness and karuna (compassion towards suffering) are important, so seeing Jesus as a bodhisattva—a liberated soul, depicts liberation.  However, the concept of Jesus the Guru is particularly relevant in Indian cultures and languages. Not only is the guru the teacher, but he instructs and trains his disciples spiritually and demonstrates his teachings personally by the way he lives.  In other cultures and societies, the people will form their images of Jesus and use vernacular terms to refer to him.]

Armstrong, David M. 1992. Managing by storying around: A new method of leadership. NY; Doubleday Currency. [The use of storytelling as a management tool, with company stories that illustrate self-management, core values, troublemakers, quality and service, partnerships, creativity, leadership, and communication

Bailey, Kenneth Ewing. 1976. Poet and peasant: a literary cultural approach to the parables in Luke.  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. [The basic problem for the exegete in parables is the cultural problem.  Bailey discusses the cultural aspects of Bible background and stories with Middle Easterners and examines the ancient literature; as well as consulting Oriental versions of the Gospels.  Oriental exegesis is recovering the culture by consulting the Middle Eastern life style of the peasants and at the same time notes how the Oriental exegetes have described the texts.]

Bailey, Kenneth Ewing. 2003. Jacob & the prodigal: how Jesus retold Israel’s story. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. [Bailey demonstrates how the story of the prodigal son is a new story patterned after the saga of Jacob. He finds fity-one points of comparison and contrast divided into three main categories on the basis of dramatic content and radical reversals.]

Bailey, Kenneth Ewing. 2005 The cross & the prodigal: Luke 15 through the eyes of Middle Eastern peasants (revised and expanded). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. [Bailey contends “…if theology is presented in story form, the meaning of the story cannot be fairly ascertained without becoming, as much as possible, a part of the culture of the storyteller and his or her listeners.”]

Bailey, Kenneth Ewing. 2008. Jesus through Middle Eastern eyes: cultural studies in the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. [Studies on the birth of Jesus, the beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, dramatic actions of Jesus, Jesus and women, and parables of Jesus, all told with the “light of Middle Eastern culture.” Bailer refers to early commentators from the orthodox tradition.]

Barley, Nigel. 1983. The innocent anthropologist: notes from a mud hut. London: Penguin Books.

[An entertaining account of fieldwork in West Africa, which is summarized on the back cover as “When Nigel Barley set up home among the Dowayo people in Northern Cameroon, he knew how fieldwork should be conducted. Unfortunately, nobody had told the Dowayo”.]

Bauman, Richard, ed. 1992. Folklore, cultural performances, and popular entertainments: A communications-centered handbook. NY: Oxford University Press [Discovering the way communication is socially organized by means of expressive forms in the culture, where the forms and practices are assumed to have cross-cultural validity and application. The discovery of patterns and their functions are meant to uncover the meanings for the communicative acts in the lives of the people. There are both positive and negative inferences, e.g. folklore to some may indicate durability, social efficacy and beauty, but to others it will be anachronistic and represent domination by others (xvii). There are chapters on culture, oral culture, interaction, folklore, performance, genre, play, humor, ethnography of speaking, ethnopoetics, ethnomusicology, oral history, folktale, oral poetry, proverb, riddle, speech play, insult, gossip, song, folk and traditional music, music performance, gesture, mime, dance, artifact, clothing, mask and food, ritual, festival, drama performance, puppetry, spectacle and tourism.]

Borg, Marcus J. 2001. Reading the Bible again for the first time: taking the Bible seriously but not literally. HarperSanFranciso. [Borg notes that “Bible-believing Christians” see the Bible as a divine product, to be interpreted literally, unless “clearly” metaphorical. However, “rather than allowing the Bible its full voice, their approach actually confines the Bible within a tight theological structure” (p.5). To confront this, Borg examines the foundations of biblical history and metaphor, examines the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament from a non-literalist perspective, and thus presents the Bible as speaking with more than one voice on what life is all about.]

Borgman, Paul. 2001. Genesis: the story we haven’t heard.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [Borgman did his Ph.D. “in the art of stories” (Preface) and has been exploring Genesis for 25 years.  He considers it “one of the great and most complex literary masterpieces of the world.”  He and his students have been “applying the discipline of understanding literary texts to the exploration of Genesis.”

Capon, Robert Farrar. 2002. Kingdom, grace, judgment: paradox, outrage, and vindication in the parables of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. [A combination of three previously published books: The parables of the kingdom (1985), The parables of grace (1988), and the parables of judgment (1989).  Capon notes that a book about the parables of Jesus is troublesome because of their familiarity, but “Some of his parables are not stories; many are not agreeable; most are complex; and a good percentage of them produce more confusion than understanding” (p. 1).  According to Capon, Jesus spoke, thought, and acted in parables, so much so that  he “was practically an ambulatory parable in and of himself,” who “cursed fig  trees, walked on water, planted coins in fishes’ mouths, and for his final act, sailed up into a cloud” (pp. 1-2).]

Chafe, Wallace. 1994.  Discourse, consciousness, and time: The flow and displacement of conscious experience in speaking and writing. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.  [The picture on Chafe’s book is symbolic and sums up the thrust of the book: Two men, dressed from an earlier century are standing on a rock outcrop above a canyon, with a stream below and wooded hills beyond.  They are in conscious discourse, out of context spatially and temporally, yet the scenery has not changed perceptibly over the generations.  The picture is a reminder of Chafe’s contention that “The twentieth century has focused its attention on matters quite remote from relationships between language, consciousness, and time.”  He believes that we must “restore conscious experience to the central role it enjoyed in the human sciences a hundred years ago.”(4)  Chafe has taken introspection seriously and that his insights on discourse are therefore quite different from linguists who stick mainly to the overt manifestations of speech  Translators who apply his work on discourse can take advantage of the rich imaginative consciousness that native speakers bring to the translation table.]

Chidester, David. 2005. Authentic fakes: religion and American popular culture. Berkeley: University of California Press. [Chidester defines religion as “a point of entry into the meaning, power, and values at work in the production and consumption of authentic fakes in American culture” (viii).  The book focuses on what is authentic.  For example, while Americans consider their bodies as vehicles of religion they also want to leave or change the body in some way, with drugs, piercing, tattooing, and other means.  Chidester’s wants readers to pay particular attention to how individuals engage in binding, burning, moving and handling the world around them.]

Clinton, Robert J. 1977. Figures and idioms: Interpreting the Bible series. LearningResourceCenter, Coral Gables, FL: West Indies Mission. [This is unit 6 and one unit of a series related to hermeneutics. Other units are: Historical background, Structure and theme, Context and grammar, Words, Book and Books, Hebrew Poetry, Parables, Types, symbols and prophecy. Unit 6 examines figures and idioms, in particular simile, metaphor, metonymy, as well as relationships and classification procedures. Clinton begins with some “general language laws”: find the historical background of a book (author and perspective, recipients and situation, purpose, style, geographical and cultural factors), theme, structure, context, grammar, words, and book (relationship to the bible as a whole).  His format includes maps, blocks, related maps, overview and preview, feedback and exercises.]

Coles, Robert. 1964. Children of crisis: A study of courage and fear (with illustrations). NY: A Delta Book. [Cole’s classic study of children who are caught up in racial strife and how their fears and feelings are expressed, often through their drawings. Coles further elaborates on the moral intelligence of children in a book (1986) and on tape recordings that feature interviews and exchanges with mothers of children (1997).]

Coles, Robert. 1989. The call of stories: teaching and the moral imagination.  Boston: Houhton Mifflin Company. [Coles outlines how reading in his family played such a dominant role in his life.  His work in “psychiatric anthropology (xviii) is presented in the Children of Crisis series.  He notes the importance of the story of the patient in understanding how the patient feels in relation to his or her illness.  The treasure of a person’s life is always hidden in the childhood.  Often physicians have their minds made up from the start of a consultation and simply go along with their “diagnostic and therapeutic regimen.” (p.24)]

Cross, Nigel and Rhiannon Barker, eds. 1992. At the desert’s edge: Oral histories from the Sahel. London: Panos/SOS Sahel. [An oral history project done in 8 African countries by recording culture, history and environment of the Sahel through recollections of its people. Over 500 interview were completed in 17 languages. Includes a glossary, as well as botanical and general indexes.]

Danoff, Susan. 2006. The golden thread: storytelling in teaching and learning. Kingston, NJ: Storytelling Arts Press. [“Storytelling is a method of teaching, a way to gain trust, to communicate effectively, to inspire imaginative thinking, and to provide a foundation for the thinking that is basic to literacy” (xv) and not simply for the professional storyteller to entertain or provide as a reward for good behavior. Each section begins with a story that serves as a metaphor for what follows. The first consideration is the role of the teacher as storyteller, encouraging students to think, developing their imagination and impacting literacy for children in particular.]

Davis, Donald. 1993. Telling your own stories: for family and classroom storytelling, public speaking, and personal journaling. Little Rock, AK: August House Publishers, Inc. [A brief but practical collection of hints that remind the teller of stories how best to relate them.]

Davis, Ellen F. & Richard B. Hays, eds. 2003. The art of reading scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans. [Reading scripture is an art (xv), a creative discipline requiring engagement and imagination (in contrast to detached objectivity).]

Denning, Stephen. 2001. The springboard: how storytelling ignites action in knowledge-era organizations. Woburn, MA: Butterworth Heinemann. [This book is about understanding relationships through stories and shows how storytelling assists in mobilizing managers and employees to understand complex and difficult changes. Storytelling enables audience understanding so that they intuitively grasps what the change involves, why it is desirable, and points out how an organization or community might change (xvii).]


Denning, Stephen. 2005. The leader’s guide to storytelling: Mastering the art and discipline of business narrative. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. [Storytelling can handle the principal challenges of leadership, which is to get people to work together and lead them into the future. The right kind of story at the right time can promote and make acceptable new ideas.]

Dubrovin, Vivian. 2000. Illustrated by Bobbi Shupe. Tradin’ tales with grandpa: A kid’s guide for intergenerational storytelling. Masonville, CO: Storycraft Publishing.  [The author is a storyteller who has written 16 books for children. Here she outlines techniques and offers suggestions to “unlock” the stories of the people around us, beginning with the stories that Grandpa and Gradma tell. Through language and history, the storytellers reveal what is of value to them.]

Elmer, Duane. 1993. Cross-cultural conflict: Building relationships for effective ministry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [Comments on storytelling that includes parables, legends, fables, proverbs, forms of role-play, allegory and stories.  [In Africa] “Storytelling is a refined and sophisticated art, part of an intricate oral tradition, used to instruct, socialize, confront and direct.” (p.100)

Fauconnier, Gilles and Mark Turner 2002. The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities. New York: Basic Books. [How imagination, as a creative function of the mind, is revealed by the language we use.]

Finnegan, Ruth. 1977. Oral poetry: its nature, significance and social context. CambridgeUniversity Press. [Oral poetry is often ignored or relegated to folklore studies, special ethnographies, or underground cultures.  “It is the basic contention of this book that the nature of oral poetry is such that its study falls squarely within the field of literature…. What is more, there is no clear-cut line between ‘oral’ and ‘written’ literature….” (p. 2)  Oral literature is found all over the world, including kinds of ballads and folksongs, and children’s verse.  Some forms of oral poetry are epic, ballad, panegyric odes, lyric, and others, such as chanted sermons, dialogue verse, prayers, curses, street-cries.]

Finnegan, Ruth. 1992. Oral traditions and the verbal arts: A guide to research practices. London: Routledge. [Finnegan examines the notions of language, speech  and text and the problem of isolating the “elements” such as how people express ideas, dimensions of verbal expression, the interpretation of researchers, separating verbal from other communication forms, divorcing oral texts from writing, developing a vocabulary to deal with these issues.  Oral literature emphasizes the literary or artistic aspect, creativity, and allows differentiation within a culture and with other cultures. It has parallels with literature, but carries its own insights and problems.  ‘Verbal art’ generally covers folktales, myths, legends, proverbs, riddles, even songs and poems. and can include naming, rhetoric and tongue twisters. ‘Folklore’ is sometimes  use to include all forms that are transmitted by oral tradition (p. 11).]

Foley, John Miles, ed. 1998. Teaching oral traditions. NY: The Modern Language Association of America. [There are four parts to the book, with numerous scholars contributing to each: 1) Canon or Cornucopia? 2) Critical Approaches; 3) Praxis (in the classroom); 4) Courses, Readings, and Resources. Part 2 is particularly relevant to storytelling, with discussions on the ethnography of performance in the study of oral traditions and on ethnopoetics.]

Fulford, Robert. 1999. The triumph of narrative: storytelling in the age of mass culture. NY: Broadway Books.

[Although the mode of narrative has been challenged, it is still the most compelling means of communication.  It “remains central to our existence, our companion, forever puling, forever irreplaceable.” (152).  The book is a result of the 1999 Massey lectures of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, named after Vincent Massey, patron of the arts and the first Canadian-born governor general.  Fulford includes a bibliography for each chapter.]

Furniss, Graham. 2004. Orality: The power of the spoken word. Basingstoke, Hampshire and NY: Palgrave MacMillan. [Furniss explores the context of oral communication and what is necessary and peculiar to to it, regardless of whether literacy is absent, restricted or general. “A search for creativity can be a defining element in the performer’s improvisation, or it can be manifest in the listener’s response to a strictly ‘scripted’ performance” (p. 2).  Furness is also concerned about the issue of persuasion as a dimension of much of oral communication.  The book also examines the cultural parameters of oral communication and the social context that embeds the events.  Furniss provides a model (pp. 168-9) that moves from the oral communicative moment (entailing listener and speaker location and experience, but built upon memory, text, recording) to the frames and speech event, which are ways of speaking (styles, gnres, expectations, norms).  His contexts for the speech event and frames are religious, political, economic and social (involving status, gender, class and group affiliations)].

Garner, James Finn. 1994. Politically correct bedtime stories: modern tales of our life & times. NY: Macmillan. [With irony and wit, Farner outlines his approach as follows: “If through omission or commission, I have inadvertently displayed any sexist, racist, culturalist, nationalist, regionalist, ageist, lookist, ableist, sizeist, speciesist, intellectualist…type of bias as yet unnamed, I apologize and encourage your suggestions for rectification.  In the quest to develop meaningful literature that is totally free from bias and purged from the influences of its flawed cultural past, I doubtless have made some mistakes” (x).]

Garner, James Finn. 1995. Once upon a more enlightened time: more politically correct bedtime stories. NY: Macmillan. [“You hold in your hands another flawed yet earnest attempt to purge the ‘children’s ‘ stories popular in ‘Western’ ‘culture’ from the biases and prejudices that ran unchecked in their original ‘versions’” (x).]

Greene, Ellin. 1996. Storytelling: art and technique. Bowker, 3rd edition. [Greene begins with the history, purpose, and value of storytelling and includes chapters on selecting and preparing a story. She also provides a wealth of information on considering different audiences, including children with special needs. The book concludes with thirteen stories to tell, noting their source, culture, telling time, and audience. The book is an excellent resource for beginning storytellers.]

Griffith-Jones, Robin. 2001. The four witnesses: the Rebel, the Rabbi, the Chronicler, and the Mystic. Harper: San Francisco. [The book is meant to show “why the Gospels present strikingly different visions of Jesus.” The author  represents the Gospels as “the four greatest stories ever told.” and bases his observations and comments on the question of Jesus,“Who do you say that I am?”  “First and foremost, our witness wrote stories, and to hear their own concerns we must hear the stories as they wrote them.”  They “discovered possibilities of which we, their later readers, have almost completely lost sight” (p.11),]

Grimm’s fairy tales [1869]. (With an introduction and notes by Elizabeth Dalton), 2003. NY: Barnes & Noble Classics. [Includes a general timeline of the Grimm brothers and their activities, an introduction by Dalton that relates the tales and their motifs to other myths and legends, a number of comments and questions by others on the stories, followed by suggestions for further reading.]

Haven, Hendall. 2007. Story proof: the science behind the startling power of story. Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited. [The book is divided into two parts: Story Smarts (7 chapters) and Story Proof (3 chapters), followed by an extensive bibliography.  Haven’s work claims that studies from cognitive scientists and developmental psychologists confirm that “human minds do rely on stories and on story architecture as the primary roadmap for understanding…” and that “Lives are like stories because we think in story terms, make sense out of experiences in story terms, and plan our lives in story terms” (p. vii).  The thesis of the book is that “stories are more effective and powerful than any other narrative structure” such that they “belong as the bedrock of management, leadership, education, outreach, and general communication efforts” (p. viii). The basis for the book is research and anecdotal examples that demonstrate the concepts.]

Healey, Joseph and Donald Sybertz. 1996. Towards an African narrative theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. [The author  asks this question: ‘Is it valid for expatriate missionaries to construct an African theology?’ His reply is affirmative “because we are not writing our own theology from the top down; we are transmitting the theological reflections and insights of the African people and communities from the grass-roots, from the bottom up. This is a process of constructing a local participatory theology. We have tried to codify African experience and wisdom through oral literature and traditions such as proverbs, sayings, riddles, stories, myths, fables, plays, songs, prayers, homilies, sermons, personal testimonies, dreams and cultural symbols and to integrate them with the Christian faith” (1996:13-14). Jesus Christ continues to live among African people as the ‘African Freedom Fighter,’ ‘Chief Diviner-Healer,’ ‘Chief Medicine Man,’ ‘Conqueror of Evil Powers,’ ‘Eldest Brother-Intercessor,’ ‘First-born Among Many Brethren,’ ‘Liberator,’ ‘Our Guest,’ ‘Protective Hero,’ Proto-Ancestor,’ and ‘Victor Over Death’” (1996:15).]

Hedrick, Charles W. 1994. Parables as poetic fictions: the creative voice of Jesus. Peabody, MA: Hendrikson Publishers. [“In this volume I will analyze parables as freely invented fiction narratives in the historical context of first-century Palestinian Judaism” (p. 5).  This is in contrast to early Christians who associated the parables with the kingdom of God.  He sees them as ordinary stories that Jesus created and gives some early interpretations before moving to modern ones.]

Hesselbein, Frances, Marshall Goldsmith and Richard Beckhard. 1996.  The Leader of the Future: New visions, strategies, and practices for the next era. Foreword by Peter F. Drucker. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. [There are thirty-one chapters by well-known executives, mainly in the business world.  The book is divided into four parts: 1) Leading the organization of the future; 2) Future leaders in action; 3) Learning to lead for tomorrow; 4) Executives on the future of leadership.]

Hiebert, Paul G. 2008. Transforming worldviews: an anthropological understanding of how people change. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. [A definitive, one could say “exhaustive,” study on worldview: its concepts, characteristics, contexts, and some methods for analyzing them. He divides worldviews into small-scale oral societies, peasant societies, modern and post-modern ones and concludes with suggestions on transforming worldviews to fit the Biblical pattern.  Hiebert says “it is arrogant to claim we fully understand the biblical worldview” (p.267).  He outlines a number of levels of authority that underlie such a worldview. Beginning with Jesus and the Bible as center, we move outward in an expanding circle to creeds and councils, church tradition and theology, the church and denominational positions and, finally, the local situation (p.268).  A number of key themes are important in this model, particularly of the creator and creation, revelation and human knowledge, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world, the church, and our place as citizens of the Kingdom.  A biblical view places value on the life of the individual and attempts to understand the cosmic story that God has provided in the Bible.]

Hooper, Walter. ed. 1982 C.S. Lewis: of this and other worlds. London: William Collins & Sons. (with a preface by Walter Hooper)  [Published in New York by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1982 under the title On Stories—and other essays on literature.  Also published by Fount Paperbacks, London in 1984.] [Lewis recounts how his stories began.  For the Narnia series (and most others as well) he first began with pictures, then proceeded to develop the characters and plots on the basis of those mental images.]

James F. Engel & William A. Dyrness. 2000. Changing the mind of missions: Where have we gone wrong?  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [The authors see three unmistakable trends: (1)The contemporary missionary movement is too closely tied to American cultural realities, with economic and political pragmatism; (2) The initiative in modern missions has shifted to younger churches; (3) Missions has lost its theological prerogative by reducing the Gospel to proclamation.  The authors believe that a strong western church inhibits the development of indigenous resources with an unhealthy dependence upon the outside.  Too many agencies launch programs that are conceived in the west and then recruit local supporters to carry them out. The western movements dichotomize evangelism and social transformation.  The imperative seems to be: go, evangelize, plant churches, and measure success by numerical response (22-23).  The cultural captivity of the great commission is then due to a number of causes: A top-down style of leadership locally has been characterized by animistic values and long standing tribal hatred and warfare; The church was silent on critical issues of dignity and worth of each person; The church relied on outside financial resources that resulted in debilitating dependence.  The objective of this book (24) is to “find out what has gone wrong with the harvest” and, we might add, write a story about it.]

Jeremias, Joachim. Revised edition, 1972. The parables of Jesus. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons. [“In attempting to recover the original significance of the parables, one thing above all becomes evident: it is that all the parables of Jesus compel his hearers to come to a decision about his person and mission (the secret of the Kingdom of God, Mark 4.22), Jeremias contends that in the parables “The strong man is disarmed, the forces of evil are in retreat, the physician comes to the sick, the lepers are cleansed, the great debt is wiped out, the lost sheep is brought home, the door of the father’s house stands open, the poor and the beggars are summoned to the banquet, a master whose kindness is undeserved pays his wages in full, a great joy fills a ll hearts.  God’s acceptable year has come.” (p. 230)]

Johnson, W. Brad and Charles R. Ridley. 2004. Elements of mentoring. NY: Palgrave Macmillan. [Johnson is associate professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the U.S. Naval Academy and has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Ridley is professor in counseling psychology at Indiana University and specializes in multicultural assessment, counseling, training and organizational counseling and therapeutic change. He was also Johnson’s graduate school mentor. Their book is a careful, concise, and practical examination of all that is involved in mentoring. Each chapter begins with a case study, followed by a discussion and the “key components” for the chapter. The book concludes with a number of references and a good index.]

Kistemaker, Simon J. 1980. The parables of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI:Baker Book House. [A study of 40 parables from the 3 Gospels.  Chapter 25, the Good Samaritan, from Luke 10:25-37 includes a description of Jesus confronted by a theologian who wanted to debate the question of who his “neighbor” was.  Kistemaker notes that “The Jew lived in a circular world: at the center was himself, surrounded by his immediate relatives, then his kinsmen, and finally the circle of all those who claimed Jewish descent and who were converts to Judiasm.  The word neighbor has a reciprocal meaning: he is a brother to me and I to him.  Thus the circle is one of self-interest and ethnocentricism.  The lines were carefully drawn to ensure the well-being of those who were inside and to deny help to those who were outside.” (p. 167)]

Lakoff, G.eorge. 1991. Women, fire, and dangerous things. University of Chicago Press. [This book is a study of how humans categorize the world around them using, in particular, metaphors.  It is a follow up to a book written by Lakoff and Mark Johnson called Metaphors we live by (1980) and has been supplemented by other books and numerous studies, such as The body in the mind: the bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason (M. Johnson 1987) and More than cool reason (Lakoff and Turner 1990).  The latter is on poetics and metaphor.  Taken as a unit the materials by Lakoff and his colleagues argue that meaning is not satisfied purely by a propositional analysis wherein the utterance satisfies certain truth conditions. A key term which Lakoff uses throughout this book is “Idealized Cognitive Model” or ICMs as he calls them.  Each ICM is a structured whole, a gestalt and includes: a) propositional structure, b) image-schematic structure, c) metaphoric mappings, and d) metonymic mappings.  Lakoff develops ICMs through “metonymic models.”  Metonymy is a surface phenomena whereby a subcategory or sub-member is used for the category as a whole.  He uses the “housewife stereotype” to show how a prototype arises, in this case a social stereotype.  He arrives at the conclusion that “mother” can best be represented in its meaning by associating it with “radial structures,” i.e. certain kinds of mothers, which converge and radiate from the central case (see p.83ff): stepmother, adoptive mother, birth mother, natural mother, foster mother, biological mother, surrogate mother, unwed mother, genetic mother. Lakoff suggests that categories can be best described by using four types of cognitive models: a) propositional models, which specify elements, their properties and the relationships among them; b) image-schematic models, such as the trajectory and thin-object ones; c) metaphoric models, which are mappings from the other models to one domain, such as the conduit metaphor for communication which is mapped from our knowledge about conveying objects in containers and conveying ideas in words; d) metonymic models which transfer a function from one model to another.]

Lanman, Barry A. and Laura M. Wendling, eds. 2006. Preparing the next generation of oral historians: an anthology of Oral History education. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. A division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.  [A resource for educators who want to make history come alive for students, the anthology includes chapters on the fundamentals of oral history for the classroom. There are also almost two dozen personal essays by educators who have applied oral history in their teaching, with practical suggestions on curricula, community support, and educational standards.]

Larson, Gary. 1989. The Pre-history of the Far Side: A 10th anniversary exhibit. Kansas City and NY: Andrews and McMeel. [Larson outlines some of the “background, anecdotes, foibles, and ‘behind-the-scenes’ experiences that he used to show how he thought in developing his cartoon ideas. His ‘exhibit’ contains some of his favorite cartoons. He recounts that “rarely any two people seem to agree on” what is their interpretation of the cartoons.]

L’Engle, Madeleine. The rock that is higher: story as truth. WaterBrook Press: Shaw Books. [The author states that we don’t need faith for facts, but we do need it for truth because every search for truth is a story. “Literalism is a terrible crippler, but it does tend to let us off the hook. Or do I mean off the cross?” (p. 93) Myths last because they are true to the human condition. What stops people from reading is not TV as much as a fear of the story, which requires imagination and may be unexplainable. “The storyteller is a storyteller because the storyteller cares about truth, searching for truth, expressing truth, sharing truth” (p.103).]


LeRoy, John. 1985. Fabricated world: an interpretation of Kewa tales. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. [A collection of 81 Kewa) stories that LeRoy first collected in 1971, adding to them in 1972, and completing them in 1976-77. Kewa Tales contains the unabridged texts, as well as the notation for the analysis of the 11 sequences (i.e., sets of similar texts) found in the stories and the various functions (i.e., ordered events) found in the sequences.]

LeRoy, John. 1985. Kewa tales. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. [Texts upon which LeRoy’s analysis is based.]

Licht, Jacob. 1978 [2nd edition 1986]. Storytelling in the Bible. The HebrewUniversityJerusalem: The Magnes Press. [Licht speaks of the dual nature of the OT Biblical storyteller: mimesis, in which the narrator adds his verbal skills to help the reader or hearer captivate the emotions of the event.  The narrative also must report on the actual history of the event, so he has a double role.  Examples are of the girls prattling in I Sam 9:11-13 or the report of Joab killing Absalom in II Sam, chs. 18-19 and the response of David.  Lich speaks of the historical and the storytelling (even epic) aspects of the OT. “Many works of history are also true creations of the narrative art. Historians, after all, have a story to tell; the very etymology of the two English words story and history shows that the two things were not always strictly distinguished. And able historians do tell their stories well. They have always dramatized events, drawn characters with artistic insight, represented social and psychological forces mimetically or put into the mouths of various persons speeches that they have composed themselves, according to sophisticated rules of rhetoric” (13).]

Lipman, Doug. 1999. Improving your storytelling: beyond the basics for all who tell stories in work or play.  Little Rock: August House Publishers, Inc. [Lipman claims that there is no “right way” to tell a story because there are locally preferred styles.  The storytelling triangle consists of the teller, the audience and the story.  The transfer of imagery includes: oral language, varieties of expression, characterization and humor , pauses and rhythm, as well as repetition.  The storyteller learns how to transform images so that the hearer can image sights and sounds.  “Imagery is the internal representation of factual or fanciful experience” (41).]

Lord, Albert B. 1974. The singer of tales. New York: Atheneum. [The purpose of the book is to comprehend how the singers compose, learn, and transmit their epics, including the processes of composition of oral narrative poetry. “…the epic is not merely a genre but a way of life….it might be described as a dynamic structure….The poem is, by this definition, a song; its performer is, at the same time, its composer; whatever he performs, he-recreates; his art of improvisation is firmly grounded upon his control of traditional components….” (Harry Levin in the Preface)]

MacDonald, Margaret Read. 1993. The story-teller’s start-up book: finding, learning, performing and using folktales.  Little Rock: August House Publishers, Inc. [The author tells stories to “10,000 children each year as a children’s librarian with the King County Library System in Seattle,” and runs workshops for teachers.]

MacDonald, Margaret Read. 2006. Ten traditional tellers. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. [Interviews with storytellers about how they approached the art. “Certain abilities re necessary to the master teller. Adams notes the ability to master storytelling techniques, the ability to remember, the ability to shape tales, and the ability to conceptualize and fulfill the demands of the listeners. He also mentions the need of the master teller to gain control of a large enough repertoire to satisfy varying audiences and events” (p.ix). Two additional factors are opportunity and community acceptance.]

MacDonald, Margaret Read, Compiler and Editor. 2008. Tell the world: storytelling across language barriers. Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited. [MacDonald presents several techniques for story translation, including comments from tellers who have used bilingual telling of various kinds. A number of authors contribute with chapters on tandem telling, storytelling without translation, performing in a second language, presenting tellers of other languages, nurturing tellers with halting English skills, cultural considerations and on the art of translation.]

MacDonald, Mary N. 1991. Mararoko: a study in Melanesian religion. NY: Peter Lang. [AmericanUniversity Studies. Series XI Anthropology and Sociology Vol.45] [Mary MacDonald worked as a Catholic missionary among the Mararoko (a village in the South Kewa area) from 1973-77 and returned to the area on visits from 1980-83.  Mararoko is the result of her Ph.D studies at the University of Chicago and is the analysis and interpretation of 188 stories related to MacDonald by numerous Kewa people.  Of the stories 104 were originally told in Kewa and 84 in Tok Pisin (p.223).  The book is divided into two parts: Part one is on exchange and change and includes seven chapters as well as a number of poor photographic illustrations; Part two comprises the stories and is divided into 21 sections, according to the six locations where the stories were told.  Each story is told either in Kewa or in Tok Pisin (TP, that is, Highlands Melanesian Pidgin), with its author, date, and cross reference similar tales, also noted.  The stories are translated from Kewa to TP to English or directly from TP to English, but no transcription was made of the Kewa (224).]

MaGuire, Jack. 1998. The power of personal storytelling: spinning tales to connect with others. NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/ Putnam. [This book has many applications and hints for personal storytelling, many of which also seem to be applicable to vernacular story telling.  There are five parts to the book: Why tell personal stories?; Reclaiming your storyloving self; Getting story ideas; Bringing your stories to life; Your storytelling powers in action

The book concludes with an appendix that outlines a variety of actions for each chapter, followed by a number of resources and a bibliography.]

Malderez, Angi and Caroline Bodóczky. 1999. Mentor Courses: A resource book for trainer-trainers. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. [This book is in a series that Cambridge University Press publishes on “Teacher Training and Development.”  It is laid out in three parts: Part I, Mentor Course Principles and Practice; Part II, In-Session Activities, and Part III, Projects and Assignments. Part I introduces the basic concepts and course procedures, with a heavy emphasis on the interplay of practice and theory.  The course aims and objectives include basic knowledge about professional learning, relationships, counseling techniques, assessment and evaluation, and practice in a wide range of activities and procedures that are used for mentoring student-teachers.  The students practice skills in observing and recording techniques that will help them to develop and design their own courses. Part II is the most extensive section and includes many examples of lead-ins, developing perspectives, interacting appropriately, role-plays and assessment and evaluation of the techniques that are used. Part III outlines many tasks, specifically related to observation, reading, writing, and concludes with ideas on how to evaluate mentor courses and continue their development.]

Margolis, Howard. 1993. Paradigms and Barriers: How Habits of Mind Govern Scientific Beliefs. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press. [“…there is unlikely to be any essential difference between a physical habit and a habit of mind” (p.2), although the former is easier to observe and more familiar.  A Kuhnian paradigm shift is a special sort of shift of habits of mind. “… a particular, identifiable habit of mind is critical for the emergence and contagion of just those new ideas capable of provoking marked symptoms of Kuhnian incommensurability” (p. 3).  What provokes the symptoms of innovation is some logically difficult gap dividing some established theory from its challenger.  Once this gap is overcome many previously ignored features make obvious sense (but were seen as anomalies previously).  The emergence of probability theory is shown as one evidence. “… what binds together a certain community (making communication easy within… and [hard without]” are certain habits of mind that guide critical intuitions and which don’t come reasonable to someone who is not a member of the community and therefore lacks certain critical experiences (p. 23). We can notice how long it takes to go from a point where something is first discovered and put forth in argument to when it is accepted as a new way of looking at things.  There is always some logical or conceptual distance between the new idea and what preceded it.  “The argument looks good so it looks wrong to reject the belief, but the belief itself still looks wrong.” (p. 30)  The individual is then in the paradox state.]

McElhanon, K.A., ed. 1974. Legends from Papua New Guinea. Ukarumpa: SIL. [105 traditional stories from 20 languages, representing 19 sub-districts and 10 districts.]

McElhanon, K.A., ed. 1982. From the Mouths of Ancestors. Ukarumpa: SIL [140 additional stories from 18 languages from 23 sub-provinces in 9 provinces.]]

McElroy, Colleen J. 1999. Over the lip of the world: among the storytellers of Madagascar. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. [McElroy is professor of English and creative writing at the University of Washington. This book is a result of her 1995 fieldwork where she explored Malagasy oral traditions and myths by “recording stories and song-poems from village artists as well as [conducting] interviews…” (p. xi). The traditional stories that the author collected are embedded within her own story of her fieldwork, her communication and interaction with the community of storytellers, and her comments on the various parts of the island where she collected the stories.]

McKenna, Megan. 1994. Parables: The Arrows of God.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. [McKenna interweaves parables and their “explanations” with stories that illustrate them from a variety of other cultures and traditions.]

Meek, Margaret. 1991. On being literate. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [Margaret Meek is a teacher, critic and reviewer of Children’s literacy and was a Reader in Education at the University of London’s Institute of Education. The book grew out of her concern to note what it means to be literate in a modern society, particularly with children (p.230). Meek has two main ideas—literacy is not natural and it changes as society changes. She points out that even the most sophisticated tests of literacy competences teach us nothing about the effective use of the skills of literates.]

Mehl-Madrona, Lewis. 2007. Narrative medicine: The use of history and story in the healing process. Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company. [The author examines the indigenous use of story as a healing modality and cites numerous case histories that demonstrate the power of narrative in healing. The suggestions are that when we learn to dialogue with disease, we experience the power of story and our possibilities for better health. This includes examining our relationships to find disharmonies that may need healing.  Mehl-Madrona’s model of medicine is a health care system that listena to the healing wisdom of the past to help patients.]

Mellon, Nancy. 1992. Storytelling and the art of the imagination. Cambridge, MA: Yellow Moon Press. [The ancient art of storytelling is a a path of self-development because it awakens and nourishes experiences, symbols and forces of our inner lives. Nancy Mellon’s storytelling-as-a-healing-art offers tools through examples and exercises. She encourages us to tap into the vast creative wisdom found in tales throughout the world.   Mellon discusses and demonstrates how rhythms of voice and speech, movement and direction, visualization and other aspects of the imagination can help.]

Millard, Alan. 2000. Reading and writing in the time of Jesus.Washington Square, NY: New YorkUniversity Press. [Millard provides an introduction to the history of writing’s early survival and what the documents we have tell us about the times and places of their origins. The author examines the biblical and religious writings that survived and are dated, as well as who was able to read and write when they were created.]

Mooney, Bill and David Holt. 1996. The storyteller’s guide: storytellers share advice for the classroom, boardroom, showroom, podium, pulpit and center stage. Little Rock: August House Publishers, Inc. [The guide includes interviews, anecdotes, metaphors and parables to demonstrate the art of storytelling.  The book offers includes many practical details on shaping stories, performance, learning stories, creating them and recommendations for additional resources.]

Malcolm Muggeridge. 1976. [revised 1983]. A third testament. NY: The Plough Publishing House. [Muggeridge summarizes the life stories of a number of people, recounting their influences on his life. Among those he mentions are: 1) Augustine; 2)Blaise Pascal, a brilliant scientist who warned people of the consequences of living without God; 3) William Blake, a romantic poet, who lived to “abominate the spirit of romanticism and all the license and disorder it involved.” (p.45)  He foresaw the doom that would befall societies if they believed that they could shape their own destinies.  In his own case, he said “that to him death would be no more than moving from one room to another, and so it proved to be.”  (p.69); 4) Søren Kierkegaard, an eccentric Danish philosopher, who was “one of the oddest prophets ever” (p. 70).  He and Marx were two key voices of the 20th century.  Marx’s trust in science to change history has largely failed, Kierkegaard’s sense of God’s presence led him to see that with only mass communication to shape one’s hopes and formulate values, the public and daily press would be so opposed to Christianity that only a life with God would offer hope.  He diagnosed “with uncanny precision the ills that would befall a materialistic culture…[that insisted] that men could live by bread alone….”; 5) Fyodor Dostoevsky, who was not just a great writer, but was a great storyteller as well. “Dostoevsky was a God-possessed man if there ever was one, as is clear in everything he wrote and in every character he created; 6) Leo Tolstoy, who insisted “that Christianity was not just a religion but a way of life” (p.123).  Tolstoy was incredibly perceptive, noting that the rich and the educated were the ones who so despaired of life; the peasants, who had little and knew little had peace with themselves.  He noted that the difference was their faith, so he sought that faith himself.  Tolstoy was a pilgrim, an imperfect one, but one who saw that imperfect natures can be redeemed; 7) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed in 1945 at the age of 39 for conspiring to kill Hitler. As a Lutheran pastor he courageously contacted resistance movements and used his position to counteract the lethargy and complicity of many in the Lutheran church.

Murphy, G. Ronald, S.J. 2000. The owl, the raven, and the dove: the religious meaning of the Grimms’ magic fairy tales. Oxford University Press. [The Grimm brothers thought of fairy tales as remnants of ancient faith expressed in poetry.  Wilhelm, a devout believer, saw remnants of ancestral Germanic religious faith in the margins of culture found in popular poetic tales, so he collected and re-worked the religious faith found in them.]

Nichols, Stephen J. 2008. Jesus made in America: A cultural history from the Puritans to the Passion of the Christ. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. [Nichols book consists of eight chapters, a reading list and an index. The chapters deal with historical and contemporary figures and their influence on issues that mix the secular and sacred in American religion. Part of his thesis can be summarized as “Too often American evangelicals have settled for a Christology that can be reduced to a bumper sticker” (p. 18).]

Nussbaum, Stan. 2005. American cultural baggage: how to recognize and deal with it. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. [A sketch of American culture based on 235 common sayings (many are “proverbs”) that demonstrate values. To help understand such values, the author provides non-American readers with sayings, complemented by questions to ask Americans.]

Ong, Walter J. 1982. Orality and Literacy/ The Technologizing of the Word. London and New York: Methuen. [“The subject of this book is the differences between orality and literacy” (p.1).  There is no formal theory followed in the book. The claim is that “Human society first formed itself with the aid of oral speech, becoming literate in its history, and at first only in certain groups.  Homo sapiens has been in existence for between 30,000 and 50,000 years. The earliest script dates from only 6000 years ago” (p. 2).]

Oring, Elliott, ed. 1986. Folk groups and folklore genres: an introduction. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press. [A collection of a series of essays by leading scholars to provide students with folklore topics and interpretive techniques. The authors introduce forms, events, and expressions of folklore but do not suggest a particular pedagogy.]

Osborne, Grant R. 1997. The hermeneutical spiral: a comprehensive introduction to Biblical interpretation. InterVarsity Press. [Part I of the book deals with general hermeneutics, including context, grammar, semantics, syntax, historical and cultural backgrounds. Part II deals with genre analysis (narrative, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, apocalyptic, parable, and epistle. Part III is concerned with applied hermeneutics: Biblical theology, systematic theology,  and homiletics. Note that Osborne questions the difference between a so-called pure parable and an allegory which is usually described as a single point vs. multiple ones.]

Otto, Ton and Nicholas Thomas, eds. 1997. Narratives of nation in the South Pacific. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers. [The editors review the PNG constitution and gives a short bio of Narokobi (lawyer, planner, professor).  “Narokobi wanted to liberate his fellow Melanesians from their colonial attitude…” and restore pride and self-respect that had bee “subverted” by the colonial occupation (p.41).  “In my analysis I have shown that the Melanesian Way incorporates a number of contradictions; it is new and old at the same time; it is created and received; it is pluralistic and has a common base; it is undefinable but consists of concrete practices; it contains western and indigenous values; it embraces modern technology and maintains an ecological spirituality; it is a group identity but formulated by a few individuals” (p. 60).]

Pavesic, Christine. 2005. Ray Hicks and the Jack Tales: A study of Appalachian history, culture, and philosophy. NY: iUniverse, Inc. [Ray Hicks was a famous storyteller from Appalachia. Pavesic looks at both oral and written American storytelling and the folktales of Appalachian oral tradition in particular. She analyzes the use of the Jack Tales by Hicks.]

Perry, Bill. 1971. Crossing over with parables. Ephrata, PA: Multi-Language Media. [Storytelling as evangelism, hence “crossing over” from some point in a person’s life into “God’s kingdom and family.” The author suggests some ways to study and use parables, emphasizing that “parables are meant to illustrate doctrine, not explain it.”  Perry outlines 14 parables from the Gospels, each with a main point that is attempting to answer certain questions.]

Pilch, John J. 2000. Healing in the New Testament: insights from medical and Mediterranean anthropology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. [This book is a revision and update from six articles published between 1981 and 1995, all dealing with healing, sickness and health issues found in the Gospels and Acts.  Pilch notes, “My task was to address with the students the role of faith in healing, the role of belief in the healing process, and in particular the significance of various healing reports in the Bible” (xi).  As part of this research, he has conducted continuing education programs at various hospitals with pastoral care departments.]


Prior, Randall. 1998. Gospel and culture in Vanuatu: The founding missionary and a missionary for today. Wattle Park, Australia: Gospel Vanuatu Books. [The book comprises two stories, one about John Geddies, the founding missionary of the Presbyterian church in July 1848 at the southern island of Aneityum, in what was then the New Hebrides, and the second about Graham Loughman, a national Presbyterian pastor, and his son Jack, who represent the culture and Gospel in contemporary Vanuatu.]

Quasthoff, Uta M., ed. 1995. Aspects of oral communication. Berlin: de Gruyter. [Research in Text Theory [Orality is a basic criterion to distinguish and characterize societies.  Oral communication is differentiated theoretically and n the basis of its integration of an empirical field. His research is divided into: verbal, non-verbal; syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and sound levels of analysis; different languages and cultures. The division of labor among the various disciplines includes: anthropology/ ethnography; linguistics (verbal structures with different levels of complexity); literary and theater science; psychology (cognitive processing of knowledge); phonetics/ phonology; rhetoric; semiotics (non-verbal behavior); sociology; and semantics/ pragmatics.]

Rhoads, David. Dewey, Joanna. Michie, Donald. Mark As Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. 2nd ed. 1999. Fortress Press. Minneapolis. [A method of examining narrative from five perspectives: the narrator, the setting, the plot, the main character(s), and the reader (the rhetoric).]

Ritchie, Donald A. 2003, 2nd edition. Doing oral history: a practical guide. Oxford University Press. [Is oral history limited by the fallibility of human memory? Calvin Coolidge once said that oral history was “remember[ing] some of the most interesting things that never happened”-); Public memory concerns “symbols and stories that help a community define and explain present conditions according to how it remembers (or wants to remember) the past” (p.26); Richie discusses the ifferences beween OH and folklore (personal experiences v. traditional stories, fact or fiction) and asks, Is storytelling OH? “Recurring stories within a community that emerge in oral history collections can reveal what people consider to be the key aspects of their historical experience” (p.38).  Public history and oral history differ because “Public history is an organized effort to bring accurate, meaningful history to a public audience and oral history is a natural tool for reaching that goal” (p.41).]

Rivers, John, ed. 2001. The power of the digging sticks and other stories: new writing by Papua New Guineans. Madang: Divine Word Press. [Rivers recognizes certain aspects of PNG writing that is “distinctive, fascination, unusual and brilliant,” for example, how the state has failed in its development of independence; portraying an unusual form of realism; the liberation from the “censorship of the oral culture.”]

Rodari, Gianni. 1973. The grammar of fantasy: an introduction to the art of inventing stories.  Translated by Jack Zipes, 1996. New York: Teachers & Writers Collaborative. [From the Foreword by Herbert Kohl: “The imaginative exercises in this book and the new role of the  teacher were tested and eventually instituted as the core of teaching young children in the schools of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy.  The goal of this work was to mold schools into cooperative, imaginative learning communities in which teachers and children engage in the imaginative exploration of reality…. the teacher is an active participant who brings exercises and ideas to the learning situation, engages in doing those exercises along with the children, challenges…, and brings work to the point where it can be shared….” (ix, x)]

Rosenbluth, Vera. 1990. Keeping family stories alive: a creative guide in taping your family life & love. Point Roberts, WA: Hartley & Marks, Publishers. [A practical guide to interviewing and archiving family stories. “Doing interviews with older people about their lives is a very satisfying process which honors them by the very fact that someone is interested enough in them to want to know their stories” (p. 1).  Rosenbluth points out that few people today know much about their families’ histories.  In many societies the older people and grandparents were the storytellers but with our emphasis on youth we ignore or stereotype older people.  “By ‘storytelling,’ I mean simply the telling of anecdotes, happenings, the events of a person’s life” (p. 6-7).  Stories provide some degree of permanence, they are a way of remembering what happened to us. Children grew up with family stories. But stories should not be told in isolation—we need to tell our stories to others because telling a story gives value to our point of view and the life we are living. Telling stories also have therapeutic value as well as healing value for those who hear the stories.]

Rubright, Lynn. 1996. Beyond the beanstalk” interdisciplinary learning through storytelling. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [The book has stories and their applications in many different classroom settings.  It motivates teachers to tell stories and motivate and engage students. “By their nature, the arts are experiential, engaging, and involving” (Preface, xiii). Arts specialists use storytelling, drama, movement, music, and other experiences to: release tension and relax children; promote inventive thinking and problem-solving skills; expand imagination; broaden knowledge base; encourage spontaneity; generate innovative, creative responses; provide environments for different learning styles; stimulate interactive and cooperative learning; increase self-esteem and self-confidence; enhance self-expression; appreciate aesthetic principles; increase concentration and recall through listening skillsbring content areas to life; create interdisciplinary bridges; modify negative behavior patterns; provide opportunities to explore diverse cultural heritages;l and act as a springboard to reading and writing activities.]

Ryken, Leland, ed. 2002. The Christian imagination. Colorado Springs: Shaw Books. [A collection of essays dealing with: A Christian philosophy of literature; imagination, beauty and creativity; to teach and delight; the Christian writer; the Christian reader; success and failure in current Christian fiction and poetry; realism; myth and fantasy; poetry; and narrative.]

Ryken, Leland. 1989. The liberated imagination: Thinking Christianly about the arts. Colorado Springs, CO: Swaw Books. [According to Ryken, the arts provide these features: A picture of reality; the imaginatory element; the interpretation of reality the role of perspective; the need to interpret; beauty of form; an understanding of human experience; an enlargement of the range of experiences; social functions; entertainment; creativity]

Sanneh, Lamin. 1995. Translating the message: the missionary impact on culture. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. [Sanneh examines the contemporary developments of mission and argues that language and culture are closely intertwined in traditional societies.  Consequently, missionary pioneers often acted as vernacular agents. using alphabets and literacy that fostered nationalist sentiment and the growth of indigenous Christianity.

Sanneh, Lamin. 2003. Whose religion is Christianity? The gospel beyond the West. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

[“The book is written in a freestyle way but with a built in structure.  The reader can join the conversation [about the discovery of Christianity beyond the West] at any point without feeling disjointed.” (112)]

Saville-Troike, Muriel. 1982. The ethnography of communication: An introduction. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. [This classic study brings together the fields of ethnography and linguistics. The focus is on the speech community—collecting and analyzing descriptive data that answers the question “What is being communicated in the social system?” The author often quotes Hymes, who argued that language cannot be separated from how it is used. Participant-observation is still basic for the study but other methods are used to collect and validate the procedures and data. The attempt is to be holistic in nature. A fieldworker should discover regularities in speech patterns by looking at culture specific rules of rhetoric. The patterning occurs at various levels of communication: society, group and the individual. In society, language unites speakers into a single speech community, although people who employ the features to do so often unconsciously. The functions of communication include categories that are expressive (feelings), directive (requests or demands), poetic (aesthetic), phatic (empathy and solidarity), and metalinguistic (references to language itself). The function (rather than form) of language provides the primary dimension for organizing communication processes.]

Sawyer, Ruth. 1942. The way of the storyteller. Viking Press.  Revised edition 1962. Compass edition 1965, Penguin Books 1976.  [Sawyer compares storytelling to the days of guilds when the worker was teacher, director, and inspirer of the apprentices.  They lived for their work—the rightness and beauty of it.  One of the characteristics of those who became masters was that they would try and try again, thus gaining experience.  “The art of storytelling lies within the storyteller, to be searched for, drawn out, made to grow” (26).  It involves creative imagination; the power to evoke emotion; a sense of spiritual conviction; careful selection; the right approach, as a folk-art (fold-emotions, imagination, folk-wisdom; sharing one’s heart and spirit, to be gloriously alive (28); study in solitude and silence for understanding; not simply to impart information or train in a specific direction; not simply prescribed material; being your own teacher and critic, developing love and propensity for the art (35); being dependent on the power of creation, with integrity, trust and vision]

Schank, Roger C. 1990. Tell me a story: a new look at real and artificial memory.  NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons. [See also Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding by Schank and Robert Abelson, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1977] [Knowledge is stories so “Explaining the world (at least to yourself) is a critical aspect of intelligence.  Comprehending events around you depends upon having a memory of prior events available for helping in the interpretation of new events” (p. 1).  People understand the world and interpret it in terms of scripts (p. 7) and scripts make clear what is supposed to happen by making mental processing easier and allowing us to think less.  You don’t have to figure out what is going to happen once you know the cultural script.  “People have thousands of highly personal scripts used on a daily basis that others do not share” (p. 8).  We have difficulty with remembering abstractions but we can remember stories.  We tell stories to illustrate our beliefs.  We have to know what story to tell and the right time to tell it.  “People who fail to couch what they have to say in memorable stories will have their rules fall on deaf ears despite their best intentions and despite the best intentions of their listeners” (p. 15). A good teacher couches explanations in an interesting format.  “Knowledge … is experiences and stories, and intelligence is the apt use of experience and the creation and telling of stories” (p. 17).  We hear stories and correlate them with what we already know. “Stories are everywhere, but not all stories look like stories” (p. 26).]

Shiell, William David. 2004. Reading Acts: The Lector and the early Christian audience. Boston and Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc. [“Early Christian authors wrote their works anticipating that they would be performed publicly” (p. 1).  Reading a text presupposed a skilled reader, the filter through which the audience interpreted the text.  “Because lectors were widespread in the ancient world, they followed a generally recognized pattern in performance of gestures, vocal inflection, and facial expression” (pp. 6-7).  Shielll outlines six gestures in the book of Acts had rehetorical significance in speeches.  Other implied gestures were how to to exit a carriage, end a statement and turn to leave, nod yes and no (backward nod), use demonstrative pronouns when there are no clear antecedents, concede defeat (as in boxing) by pointing the index finger upward, kneeling for pity, shaking out a cloak to reinforce a curse, saying farewell, praying, clasping hands in appreciation, reconciliation, pleading, and showing congratulations.]

Sider, John W. 1995. Interpreting the parables: A hermeneutical guide to their meaning. Zondervan. [Culley (pp. 154-54) says that in any parable we should identify the essential minimum, i.e. what is required for something to be a parable.  He suggests that “story” is the essential feature, i.e. one or more characters involved in a plot.“Not all parables are stories, but every parable is an analogy” (p. 18). (A:B = a:b). One analogy becomes several, parable becomes allegory and every allegory is an elaboration of analogy.  Allegory then is a rhetorical device that can occur in any kind of literature.  Interpretation is guided by internal features such as structure and commentary and external features such as situation and traditional symbols (p. 23).]

Silverman, Lori. ed. 2006. Wake me up when the data is [sic] over: how organizations use storytelling to drive results. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & sons. [The purpose of the book is to “increase the visibility and influence of story work in organizations, specifically its practical applications to… marketing and market research, finance, customer service…, project management…, organizational change, building teams and teamwork and dealing with specific issues” (xviii).  The primary audience are those interested in moving organizations to a higher level of performance…. “This includes business owners, executives, and senior leaders” (xix). Part I focuses on how stories are used in work functions; Part II addresses their application to organizations; Part III provides advice and research to make stories used more deliberately in organizations.]


Simmons, Annette. 2001. The story factor: Secrets of influence from the art of storytelling. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. [“This book is designed to help you rediscover that bag of magic beans, to rediscover the oldest tool of influence in human history—telling a good story….Story is your path to creating faith” (p. xvii).  The first question is whether people can trust you.  Six types of stories you need to know how to tell are: “Who I Am” Stories; “Why I Am Here” Stories: “Never tell a story to someone you don’t respect.  The only message they will receive is your lack of respect” (p. 13); “The Vision” Story; “Teaching” Stories: “Rather than banging your head against a wall, why not find a story that successfully delivers whatever it is you want them to “get” (p.17).  “A good test for yourself is to see how many stories you can come up with to demonstrate the values you profess to hold” (p. 23); “I Know What You Are Thinking” stories presuppose that “If you name their objections first, you are that much closer to disarming them” (p.23). Such stories can neutralize concerns without engaging in direct confrontation.]

Sitton, Thad, George L. Mehaffy and O.OL. Davis Jr. 1983. Oral history: A guide for teachers (and others). Austin: University of Texas Press. [The book is designed specifically for in-service and pre-service teachers, assimilating personal and collective experience into a practical guide to aid others.  It grew out of the Foxfire book series and experience of staff members. Foxfire refers primarily to “a series of books which are anthology collections of material from The Foxfire Magazine. The students’ portrayal of the previously-dismissed culture of Southern Appalachia as a proud, self-sufficient people with simple beliefs, pure joy in living, and rock-solid faith shattered most of the world-at-large’s misconceptions about these “hillbillies.”  Most importantly, “Foxfire” is the living connection between the high school students in the magazine program and their heritage, built through continued interaction with their elders. These students, through their own choices, have worked for four decades to document and preserve the stories, crafts, trades, and the personalities of their families, neighbors, and friends. By doing so, they have preserved this unique American culture for generations to come.”  (See for additional information.)]

Slone, Thomas H., trans. and ed. 2001. One thousand one Papua New Guinea nights: folktales from Wantok newspaper. Volume 1: Tales from 1972―:1985. Volume 2: Tales from 1986―indices, glossary, references and maps. Oakland, CA: Masalai Press. [Translation of the Tok Pisin “stories of the ancestors” that appeared in Wantok magazine. Valuable indexes that show the areas represented by the stories, as well as their themes and motifs.]


Smith, Dennis E. & Michael E. Williams, eds. 1996. The storyteller’s companion to the Bible. Volume Ten: John. Abington Press. [The volumes in this series (13 so far) all follow a similar plan: an introduction that discusses “parallel stories” (Jewish traditional retold Bible stories, called the midrash), followed by a “self-directed workshop” that outlines nine helpful points  to review before telling any of the Bible stories (e.g. read them aloud, imagine the story, read the parallel stories, and so on).]

Song, C.S. 1984. Tell us our names: story theology from an Asian perspective. Maryknoll: Orbis Books. [Song uses a number of folk stories and fairy tales to illustrate how stories can represent aspects of Asian theology.  He outlines seven stages for what he calls dialogical conversion.  These involve evaluating other worlds and other persons; going beyond external things to reach the internal; rejecting boredom and engaging new things; exhibiting patience with interfaith dialogue; looking at things from different perspectives; demonstrating faith; reevaluating concepts, particularly interrelationships with God, humanity, and nature.]

Sontag, Susan. 1990. Illness as metaphor and AIDS and its metaphors. New York: Picador (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). [One of her main points is that “As long as a particular disease is treated as an evil, invincible predator, not just a disease, most people with cancer will indeed be demoralized by learning what disease they have” (p. 7).  Her original study was on TB, then cancer and AIDS because she saw a similarity between what she called the myths of TB and cancer, because both are the diseases of passion.  She makes the important point that illness expands its territory when it is considered as social deviations (like criminal activity) that place the blame on the ill.  Military metaphors are involved to fight the disease, which is invasive and we must crusade against it–the killer.  The disease itself becomes a metaphor and the feelings about evil are projected onto the disease.  The cancer invades and infiltrates but there is imminent victory over it.  “Society is presumed to be in basically good health; disease (disorder) is, in principle, always manageable” (p. 79).]

Spitz, Ellen Handler. 2006. The brightening glance: imagination and the childhood. NY: Pantheon Books. [Spitz provides a study and discussion on the way aesthetic judgments and values are added to a child’s life. The author is a professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Visual Arts and most of her observations are of children from an elite segment of society, representing her own status and interests.]


Steffen, Tom A. 1996. Reconnecting God’s story to ministry: crosscultural storytelling at home and abroad. La Habra, CA: Center for Organizational & Ministry Development. [He asks why we tell stories and provides theseanswers: they are a universal form of communication and half of the world’s population prefer that mode for learning; Stories connect imagination and emotions and major religions use them to socialize theie young and indoctrinate them.  Stories  create instant evangelists—note how Jesus taught theology through storiess.]

Stein, Robert H. 1981. An introduction to the parables of Jesus. Philadelphia: The Westminister Press. [A more scholarly approach to parables, similar to C.H. Dodd, in which he discusses the word parable and attempts to classify all of those in the NT as clearly parables, extended comparisons, and possible parables.  HE has chapters on the why and whence of parables, how they were interpreted throughout church history—including modern interpretations—and chapters on the Kingdom of God in parables, and the God of the parables and the final judgment.]

Stirewalt, M. Luther Jr. 2003. Paul, the letter writiter, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.  [”It was generally thought that one might better send an oral message to an absent friend through an intermediary who could continue the conversation.  Certainly complaints at having to resort to letter-writing were made” (2003:3). The oral background of the personal letter was reflected in its reception. Even with a delivered letter, the hearers expected an oral report to accompany it.  This is because there was a general distrust of the written word. The spoken word was always with practical advice but the written was an artistic composition (2003:6).  The combination of oral and written was customary and the protocol of public reading and official presentation prepared the audience for the delivery and acceptance.  Often the carriers had to answer questions about the letter.


Tannen, Deborah. 1998. The argument culture: moving from debate to dialogue. New York: Random House. [The author provides an examination of the “argument culture,” that is, the processs that the academic infrastructure supports. However, it may not result in the best outcomes for understanding.]


Thompson, Paul. 1978. The voice of the past: oral history. OxfordUniversity Press.

[Thomspson believes that oral history gives a true picture of the past because it documents the lieves and feelings of all kinds of people. It can supplement the observations and interpretations of the professional historians.]

Trompf, G.W. 1994. Payback: The logic of retribution in Melanesian religions. CambridgeU. Press. [Based on personal research and interviews, with an outstanding bibliography. Mentions 217 distinct groups, from Biak-Numfor to Fiji and shows 95 distinct locations for religious movements (basically cargo cults) with a map on p.157. A number of plates, figures, maps and tables.]

Truby, John. 2007. The anatomy of story: 22 steps to becoming a master storyteller. NY: Faber and Faber. [Written mainly for those who want to write good stories or plays, but with many practical applications for oral storytellers as well. Truby’s seven steps in building a story are to keep in mind: weakness and need, desire, opponent, plan, battle, self-revelation and new equilibrium.]

Wacker, Mary B. and Lori L. Silverman. 2003. Stories trainers tell: 55 ready-to-use stories to make training stick.John Wiley and Sons, Inc. [The main purpose of book is to provide scripted stories that anyone can tell to make the training stick. Such stories can be used in technical training situations as well.  In the book, each story is followed by (1) debriefing questions; (2) key point questions; and (3) follow-up activities.]

Walsh, John. 2003. The art of storytelling: easy steps to presenting an unforgettable story. Chicago: Moody Publishers. [Outlines a number of steps in preparing to tell a story, particularly Bible stories.  He reminds us that not only has our culture changed in the way we receive information, but also how we remember it.  The analytical listener (and teacher) responds to the order of the presentation, but other kinds of the listeners respond to pictures and illustrations. Topics included are: A new world and its story: Where do you find your stories; Let them walk in your shoes; Make it unforgettable; Knowing when to ramble; The finishing touches; The last ingredient; You have to see it; Committing your body; Talking: Not talking; Turning weakness into strength; Storytelling and the family; Storytelling and the church; Storytelling and education; Organizing a storytelling event; Adapting an adult short story; Five starter stories; Storytelling resources]

Wangerin, Walter Jr. 1996. The book of God: the Bible as novel. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. [“Here is the story of the Bible from the beginning to end as you’ve never read it before, retold with the exciting detail and passionate energy by [a] master storyteller.” (from the back of the book)]

Warren, Liz. 2008. The oral tradition today: An introduction to the art of storytelling. NY: Custom Publishing. [Gives clues on how to tell folktales, myth, legend, hero tales, as pell as fact based stories and personal stories. Practical suggestions on getting started in storytelling and telling stories in public.]

Wellins, Mike 2005. Storytelling through animation. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, Inc. [“Storytelling through animation provides an in-depth guide to the process of conceiving, planning and producing an animated live action media production. It covers specific information for many forms of visuals, including traditional cel, stop motion, Flash, or 3D CG with a focus on the most critical aspect of any production—the story. The book is written for filmmakers, animators, producers, editors, directors, game creators, and anyone who has the task of telling the story visually….It provides systems and checks and balances that can make projects smoother and storytelling better at any level or budget. In addition, it explores all of the concepts and techniques needed for animation, including visual theory, motion, animation techniques, and their live action counterparts, character animation, production, lighting, rendering, editing and compositing.” (from the back cover)]


Wierzbicka, Anna. 2003. What did Jesus mean? Explaining the sermon on the mount and the parables in simple and universal human concepts.OxfordUniversity Press. [Wierzbicka raises the significant and non-trivial question, “What did Jesus mean?” rather than a more cautious one, “What did the biblical authors mean?” ost commentaries spend their energy on the latter question, answering questions about what Jesus did, who he was, and what he said. To answer her own question about what Jesus meant Wieerzbicka examines a number of parables and ethical aphorisms from the Gospels. She states her most important criterion as “coherence,” which presupposes a semantic analysis. Her book is also a “study in the semantics of religious language and in the interpretation of religious metaphors” (p.5).]


Wilder, Amos Niven. 1999 [1964]. Early Christian rhetoric: The language of the Gospel. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. [Originally published by SCM Press Ltd.-Harper & Row, 1964.] [This is an important book in the history of interest in the narrative and literary aspects of the New Testament. “At the time, Wilder’s biews were a bold departure from the prevailing historical-critical methodology or the literary-theological approach to the Bible as literature.” (From the back cover)]

Wilder, Amos Niven. 2001 [1976]. Theopoetic: Theology and the religious imagination. Lima, OH: Academic Renewal Press. [According to Wilder, Christian imagination has to meet the new dreams and mythologies that are coming into play.  It is in liturgies with their idiom and metaphors that problems arise today. Humans are deeply motivated by images and fabulations—more than by ideas. “Imagination is a necessary component of all profound knowing and celebration; all remembering, realizing, and anticipating; all faith, hope and love.” Without imagination the doctrines become hollow and the ethics are legalistic. Wilder claims that “the greatest theologians ha[ve] always been shot through with the imagination” (2001:3), e.g. Augustine, Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. He notes that we can learn more about man’s relation to the earth from Psalms and Job than twisting some polemic verse in Genesis. “Any fresh renewal of language or rebirth of images arises from within and from beyond our control” (2001:6) although we can help in the process. There is a turn in our culture towards the mystical, the prerational and the imaginative but it is often a mentality related to magic and mythology, a kind of revolt against “objective consciousness.”


Wolcott, Harry F.  1995. The art of fieldwork. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press. [Wolcott does not regard fieldwork as particularly creative art nor systematic science.  It is left hanging between, combining the elements of both.  The book invites an artistic approach toward fieldwork.  “The real genius in fieldwork lies in knowing how to answer the seemingly simple question: What counts?” (p.18)  The notion of “art” as explicated in the book is somewhat ambiguous (p.19).  As the author says, in fieldwork the numbers are small, the relationships complex and things are never exactly the same twice.  The artistic challenge is to preserve, covey and celebrate the complexity. (p.19)

Yancey, George. 2006. Beyond racial gridlock: embracing mutual responsibility. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [Yancey outlines clearly the positions of racism within the U.S. today, namely colorblindness (“no judgments based on race because race will carry no social importance”) , Anglo-Conformity (“the real source of racial strife is economic disparity”), Mulitculturalism (“a society in which distinct racial and ethnic groups preserve their own identities”) and White Responsibility (“the dominant group creates problems of race and ethnicity”). The author outlines the strengths and weakness of each point by examining their history and how Christians have adapted to them.  White Responsibility, for example, identifies the power of sin in creating racial conflict, yet leaves out the important features of forgiveness and redemption.  Multiculturalism recognizes the arrogance and selfishness that resides in each culture, yet implies that people of color are superior to the majority group.  Yancey wisely concludes “In an ideal world, multiculturalists would challenge European American culture but not criticize it any more than they criticize other cultures” (63).  Jesus, of course, is the “ultimate reconciler” who not only prayed that Christians might be united but demonstrated (for example, with the “woman at the well”) that arrogance and paternalism were not the answers.  Yancey reminds us that God has not given us a spirit of fear and yet fear is a powerful factor in race relations today.  “Fear prevents European Americans from being willing to enter into genuine dialogue… because they do not want to say something that will get them categorized as racist” (127).  People of color fear being ridiculed and labeled as troublemakers, so the fear of one group plays off the other and a cycle of dysfunctional race relations results.]