Theology, Music, and Modernity: Struggles for Freedom

ISBN : 9780198846550

Jeremy Begbie; Daniel K L Chua; Markus Rathey
384 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jan 2021
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Theology, Music, and Modernity addresses the question: how can the study of music contribute to a theological reading of modernity? It has grown out of the conviction that music has often been ignored in narrations of modernity's theological struggles. Featuring contributions from an international team of distinguished theologians, musicologists, and music theorists, the volume shows how music-and discourse about music-has remarkable powers to bring to light the theological currents that have shaped modern culture. It focuses on the concept of freedom, concentrating on the years 1740-1850, a period when freedom-especially religious and political freedom-became a burning matter of concern in virtually every stratum of Western society. The collection is divided into four sections, each section focusing on a key phenomenon of this period-the rise of the concept of 'revolutionary' freedom; the move of music from church to concert hall; the cry for eschatological justice in the work of black hymn-writer and church leader Richard Allen; and the often fierce tensions between music and language. There is a particular concern to draw on a distinctively 'Scriptural imagination' (especially the theme of New Creation) in order to elicit the key issues at stake, and to suggest constructive ways forward for a contemporary Christian theological engagement with the legacies of modernity today.


List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
Part One: Revolutionary Freedom
1: Revolutionary Freedom: An Image of Musical Autonomy in Beethoven
Daniel K. L. Chua
2: Kant, Aesthetic Judgment, and Beethoven
John Hare
3: Freedom in Paul and Modernity
Chris Tilling
4: Soundworld Spatiality and the Unheroic Self-Giving of Jesus Christ
Imogen Adkins
Part II. From Church to Concert Hall
5: From the Church to the Concert Hall: J. S. Bach, Mendelssohn, and the Imaginary Chorale
R. Larry Todd
6: Music in the Margin of Indifference: J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Bettina Varwig
7: Individual and Communal Freedom and the Performance History of the St Matthew Passion by Bach and Mendelssohn
Markus Rathey
8: Music, Freedom, and the Decisive Particular
Jeremy Begbie
Part III. Singing Justice
9: Richard Allen (1760-1831) and the Sacred Music of Black Americans, 1740-1850
Patrick McCreless
10: Hymns, Songs, and the Pursuit of Freedom
Michael O'Connor
11: Between Free Grace and Liberty: Richard Allen's Evocations of Eschatological and Immediate Freedom
Charrise Barron
12: The Theology of Richard Allen's Musical Worship
Awet Andemicael
Part IV. Music, Freedom, and Language
13: Music Language Dwelling
Julian Johnson
14: Herder's Alternative Path to Musical Transcendence
Stephen Rumph
15: The Witness of Praise: The Hope of Dwelling
Norman Wirzba
16: The Word Refreshed: Music and God-talk
Jeremy Begbie

About the author: 

Jeremy Begbie is Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Professor of Theology at Duke University. Daniel K. L. Chua is Mr and Mrs Hung Hing-Ying Professor in the Arts and Professor of Music at the University of Hong Kong. Markus Rathey is Robert S. Tangeman Professor in the Practice of Music History at Yale University.

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