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Ethnodoxology is an application of ethnomusicology, ethnic arts studies, worship studies, missiology, and related disciplines. Those in this field study local musical traditions and work with local musicians and churches to adapt and develop locally created musical forms for Christian worship. Examples of such work include engaging a local praise singer in translating and singing Mary's Magnificat,[1] developing local hymns, leading people in creating localized forms of liturgy,[2] sharing examples of starting points for people interested in utilizing local arts but not knowing where to start.[3] A broad resource for those in the field is a pair of volumes: Worship and Mission for the Global Church: An Ethnodoxology Handbook[4] and its how-to companion Creating Local Arts Together: A Manual to Help Communities Reach their Kingdom Goals.[5]

The International Council of Ethnodoxologists define ethnodoxology as;

"the theological and anthropological study, and practical application, of how every culture group might use its unique and diverse artistic expressions appropriately to worship the God of the Bible."

The term was coined by Dave Hall, a pioneer of the school of ethnodoxology and founder of Worship From The Nations.

Hall states;

I define ethnodoxology as "the study of the worship of God among diverse cultures" or, more precisely, "the theological and practical study of how and why people of diverse cultures praise and glorify the true and living God as revealed in the Bible." The term finds its source in 2 Biblical Greek words. "Ethno," from the Greek word "ethne" meaning 'peoples' or 'people groups' and "doxology," from the Greek word "doxos" meaning 'glory' or 'praise.'


  1. ^ Klaus Wedekind. 1975. "The praise singers." The Bible Translator 26: 245-47.
  2. ^ Kedra Larsen. 2009. Bokyi and Yala Lutheran liturgy in song. MA thesis, Bethel University.
  3. ^ Michael Balonek. 2009. "You Can Use That in the Church?" Musical Contextualization and the Sinhala Church. MA Thesis, Bethel University. Also at:
  4. ^ James Krabill, ed. 2013. William Carey Library.
  5. ^ Brian Schrag, ed. 2013. William Carey Library.