Piety in Song


Hymns are lasting expressions of faith and worship, which are written to serve as meditations and to teach individuals how to become better followers of Jesus.

This book examines the hymns which have shaped the spiritual journey of the Brethren church from its beginnings to the present day.

This title is also available for download as an Ebook here.


Hymns are lasting expressions of faith and worship.

Hymns in German piety were written to serve as meditations and to teach individuals how to become better followers of Jesus.

This volume examines the thinking and influences which shaped the hymns which the Brethren chose to write and sing, revealing a great deal to the modern reader about their journey of faith and the spiritual progress of the movement from its beginnings to the present day.

Specific attention is given to examples of hymn texts which highlight the distinctive themes and characteristics of Brethren spirituality in the various eras of Brethren life and thought.

About the Author

Dr Peter Roussakis has a long and distinguished career which included his being Senior Pastor of First Brethren Church, Burlington, Indiana, and the Charles Wesley Professor of Sacred Music, Emeritus, Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, Indiana. He was lecturer on Brethren Hymnody for the Fifth Brethren World Assembly, July 2013. For the 300th Anniversary Conference of the Brethren in Richmond, Virginia, July 2008, he served on the Joint Worship Committee, and as Conference Choir Director and Hymnology Lecturer. For many years Dr. Roussakis was Pianist and Song Leader for District and General Conferences of The Brethren Church. In his academic career he holds degrees from Southern Connecticut State University, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Boston University School of Theology, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Foundation. Additional study was taken at the Royal School of Church Music, Ohio University, Ashland Theological Seminary and Harvard University.

Additional information

Weight 0.167 kg
Dimensions 12.7 × 20.3 cm










Publication Date


2 reviews for Piety in Song

  1. Mathew Bartlett

    ‘Piety in Song by Peter E. Roussakis is an excellent study of the spiritual themes found in the hymnody of the Brethren throughout the group’s history. Thoroughly researched, well-documented and engagingly written, this book is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Brethren hymnody, but also to the importance and understanding of congregational song in its broader context. I recommend it to scholar and layperson alike.’ – David W. Music, Professor of Church Music, Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

  2. Mathew Bartlett

    Though there have been several excellent detailed studies of given periods of Brethren hymnody, what has been lacking is a comprehensive overview of the Brethren hymnic tradition. Peter Roussakis’ work fills this void in a very accessible and well-documented manner. In a little over one hundred pages of text, he introduces the reader to all the important hymnbooks and hymnals of the major Brethren bodies. Along the way he provides background sketches of Brethren composers of hymn texts and tunes and observes how the Brethren adapted or accommodated to the shifting cultural contexts in which they found themselves. Of special note, Roussakis traces the spiritual pilgrimage of the brethren through their hymnody, which is the inspiration for the title of his work, Piety in Song. This book should be welcomed by all brethren groups as well as those desiring an introduction to Brethren hymnody. – Dale R. Stoffer, Professor of Historical Theology, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio.

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