Storytelling resources

Organizations that supports storytelling

The Network of Biblical Storytellers has an excellent website with many references to resources for Biblical Storytellers.

The Digital Storytelling Festival will have its fifth annual event in Colorado this summer.

Joe Lambert and Nina Mullen founded the Center for Digital Storytelling in California.
They are working with mostly young people to help them tell their own stories electronically.


"The Religious Educator as Story-teller: Suggestions from Paul Ricoeur's Work" by Heinz Streib in the Summer 1998 issue of Religious Education, the journal of the Religious Education Association.
Very provocative article by a German educator reminding us of our role as storyteller and the importance of narrative fiction.
Suggested by: Carol Wehrheim

Scott Rosenberg wrote an article about the role of story in the information age.

Books, Tapes and Videos

"STORY TELLING: THE ENCHANTMENT OF THEOLOGY" a four-audiocassette resource by Belden C. Lane produced by Bethany Press (1981). The first tape describes five characteristics of "revelatory tales." The second tape features stories of the Rabbis; the third tape features stories of the desert Christians; the fourth tape focuses on one's own stories. Those who appreciate the Hasidic tales collected by Elie Wiesel and the stories from the desert collected by Benedicta Ward, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and others will enjoy hearing some of them told by Lane on these tapes. The first and last tapes in this set provide an important framework for understanding the power of story for Christian religious education. This resource could be used to present individual stories in conjunction with other curricula, or as a resource for an adult course on narrative theology or spiritual autobiography.
Suggested by: George Brown

Roger C. Schank's TELL ME A STORY: A NEW LOOK AT REAL AND ARTIFICIAL MEMORY (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990)touches on several subjects that initially may seem rather distant and removed from Christian religious education and storytelling--things like "artificial intelligence," "intelligent computers," "memory," and how humans think. "Human memory is story-based," writes Schank, director of the Institute for the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. TELL ME A STORY offers insights into the nature of stories and their importance to intelligence, memory, understanding, and knowledge. Christian religious educators will be stimulated by chapters with titles like, "Knowledge Is Stories," "Where Stories Come From and Why We Tell Them," "Shaping Memory," and "Story Skeletons."
Suggested by: George Brown

Robert Coles' THE CALL OF STORIES: TEACHING AND THE MORAL IMAGINATION (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989) grows out of his childhood and adolescent experiences of being introduced to the power of stories by his parents and recounts his own use of stories to stir the moral imagination of graduate medical students and other students at Harvard during the course of his teaching career there. Like Coles' many other writings, this book is rich with insight and inspiration. Consider just one excerpt: "The whole point of stories is not 'solutions' or 'resolutions' but a broadening and even a heightening of our struggles--with new protagonists introduced, with new sources of concern or apprehension or hope, as one's mental life accommodates itself to a series of arrivals: guests who have a way of staying, but not necessarily staying put" (page 129). This is a thoughtful book for all who tell stories in the hope that somehow in the telling lives will be transformed.
Suggested by: George Brown

Frederick Buechner is well known as a story-teller. His stories illustrate the importance of recognizing the presence of the holy in the midst of the ordinary. A ROOM CALLED REMEMBER: UNCOLLECTED PIECES (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1984) includes "The Two Stories." This "piece" seems to have been occasioned by an invitation Buechner received to speak to a group of ministers about storytelling. His reflections on stories and the importance of storytelling will remind religious educators of the power of stories and invite them to see the connection of their own stories to the story of Jesus. Readers will find in the other "pieces" colllected in this volume stories worth telling when the context and occasion are appropriate for such sharing.
Suggested by: George Brown

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