God’s Song and Music’s Meanings: Theology, Liturgy, and Musicology in Dialogue
Taking seriously the practice and not just the theory of music, this ground-breaking collection of essays establishes a new standard for the interdisciplinary conversation between theology, musicology, and liturgical studies. The public making of music in our society happens more often in the context of chapels, churches, and cathedrals than anywhere else. The command to sing and make music to God makes music an essential part of the DNA of Christian worship.
The book’s three main parts address questions about the history, the performative contexts, and the nature of music. Its opening four chapters traces how accounts of music and its relation to God, the cosmos, and the human person have changed dramatically through Western history, from the patristic period through medieval, Reformation and modern times. A second section examines the role of music in worship, and asks what―if anything―makes a piece of music suitable for religious use. The final part of the book shows how the serious discussion of music opens onto considerations of time, tradition, ontology, anthropology, providence, and the nature of God.