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Vernacular Religious Expression: Resources in the American Folklife Center

Related Online Resources

Through blog posts, podcasts and videos presentations of public programs and concerts, you can learn more about the American Folklife Center's collections directly from folklorists, specialists, and performers.

Folklife Today Blog

Folklife Today is a blog for people interested in folklore, folklife, and oral history. The blog features brief articles on folklife topics, highlighting the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress, especially the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project.

Highlighted Blog Posts

The highlighted blog posts below focus on topics associated with vernacular religious expression.

American Folklife Center Podcasts

Discover the treasures of the Library through its experts and special guests. Find full podcast series produced by the American Folklife Center by following the links below.

Highlighted Podcasts

The selected podcasts below focus on the topic of vernacular religious expression in the American Folklife Center collections.

Public Programs

Since its inception in 1976, the American Folklife Center has routinely hosted public programs at the Library of Congress in the form of concerts, lectures, panels, and symposia. From 2006 on, most of these public programs have been video recorded and made available online.

Playlists and Series

There are a number of playlists available on YouTube page that gather videos from certain seasons of our Homegrown Concert series External or pull together various lectures as a sampler External of the types of topics covered. You can also simply search "folklife" on the YouTube page External to pull up hundreds of videos.

It is also possible to view entire series of American Folklife Center videos on the Library's website. Those links are provided below. Many (if not all) of the same videos can be found on the Library's YouTube channel.

Highlighted Public Programs

Aramaic Christianity is an essential component of India's religious diversity. Christian faith came to the shores of South India from its source in West Asia, through the medium of the mother tongue of Jesus and the apostles. Christian Aramaic came to be known as Syriac, and due to unusual historical circumstances its tradition survived in India. In spite of the Syriac churches' decision to translate the liturgies into the vernacular in the 1960s, both the Syriac language and the music associated with it continue to be a part of the cultural legacy of India. This presentation includes a brief lecture, a video and a performance of Syriac chants. (Event date: May 31, 2018)

The Pennsylvania Dutch culture, which is now over three centuries old and still evolving, is an American hybrid creation put together from Continental Europe, British Isles, and American building blocks in Southeastern Pennsylvania. While this culture is a unit linguistically, and in most other ways, it is divided down the middle by religion. The "two worlds" are those of the "Plain Dutch"--Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren--and the much large world of the Lutheran and Recorded churches of the German and Swiss Reformates. Folklife studies professor Don Yoder illustrates the differences between these two cultural patterns with slides and ethnographic commentary. (Event date: May 5, 2011)