Special Issue "Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (8 October 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Edward Foley

Catholic Theological Union, 5416 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: practical; theology; worship; music; preaching

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Music, spirituality and theology are vast fields of study, each expanding in terms of methods and fields of inquiry at a virtually incalculable rate. This rapid expansion, however, is also the opportunity for new and unexplored intersections between these traditionally related fields. This Special Issue will showcase some of these intersections in their global and contextual diversity. Of particular interest are contributions that show this intersection on the margins of the disciplines and mainstream religious-spiritual practices.

Prof. Dr. Edward Foley
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Music
  • Spirituality
  • Theology
  • Context
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Intersections
  • Margins

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle TheoArtistry, and a Contemporary Perspective on Composing Sacred Choral Music
Religions 2018, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010007
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
This article presents the methodology and research underpinning the TheoArtistry Composers’ Scheme, a project based in ITIA (the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts), School of Divinity, University of St Andrews (2016–2017). I analyse Sir James MacMillan’s theology of music, outline
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This article presents the methodology and research underpinning the TheoArtistry Composers’ Scheme, a project based in ITIA (the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts), School of Divinity, University of St Andrews (2016–2017). I analyse Sir James MacMillan’s theology of music, outline some practical and theoretical issues that arose in setting up theologian-composer partnerships, and reflect critically on the six new works of sacred choral music that emerged (these are printed as supplementary materials). The article assesses the implications of such collaboration for future work at the interface between theology and music, and between theology and the arts more generally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Liminality, Postmodernity and Passion: Towards a Theoretical Framework for the study of 21st Century Choral Passion Settings
Religions 2017, 8(12), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120265
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
After more than a century of neglect of the form, over thirty major concert works with “Passion” within the title have emerged into the choral landscape during the past 50 years. These settings use diverse libretti, drawing from sources both sacred and secular;
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After more than a century of neglect of the form, over thirty major concert works with “Passion” within the title have emerged into the choral landscape during the past 50 years. These settings use diverse libretti, drawing from sources both sacred and secular; some of the composers of these works profess Christianity, some adhere to other religious traditions, and some do not profess any particular faith at all. Their only common threads seem to be their self-identification with the title of “Passion”, and their depiction of a story in which a particular individual undergoes suffering and death. The purpose of this article is not to analyze specific Passion settings but rather to explore the structural form and content of the Passion genre as a whole, and begin to develop an interdisciplinary framework for future analysis of this body of music, using the tools offered by the field of liminal studies. Additionally, this essay will explore how the concept of Postmodernism, both as it manifests both in Western culture and through that culture’s artistic and musical expression, might give some insight into the Passion form’s resurgence into modern musical thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Untidy Playground: An Irish Congolese Case Study in Sonic Encounters with the Sacred Stranger
Religions 2017, 8(11), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8110249
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper explores the proposal that music, and particularly singing, has unique properties that render it amenable to encounters with “the other” or the sacred stranger. Drawing on the deconstructionist works of Kristeva and Derrida, as well as the postmodern hermeneutics of Kearney
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This paper explores the proposal that music, and particularly singing, has unique properties that render it amenable to encounters with “the other” or the sacred stranger. Drawing on the deconstructionist works of Kristeva and Derrida, as well as the postmodern hermeneutics of Kearney and Caputo, it explores current debate concerning the nature of “the sacred” in contemporary life and the erosion of the theistic/atheistic divide, while proposing a deepening of the debate through the inclusion of the performative. As philosophical and theological discourses embrace this aporia, it does so against the backdrop of unprecedented human migration. The concomitant cultural and social disruption throws up new questions around the nature and experience of religion, spirituality and the sacred. This paper explores these questions in the context of a Congolese choir called Elikya, which was established by a group of asylum seekers in Limerick city, Ireland, in 2001. In tracking the musical life of this choir over the last decade and a half, including two musical recordings and numerous liturgical, religious and secular performances, it suggests that the sonic world of the choir both performs and transcends these descriptors. Using a three-fold model of context, content and intent, the paper concludes that musical experiences such as those created by Elikya erode any easy divisions between the religious and the secular or the liturgical and the non-liturgical and provide sonic opportunities to encounter the sacred stranger in the untidy playground of creative chaos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Dieter Schnebel: Spiritual Music Today
Religions 2017, 8(9), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8090185
Received: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
This article presents an annotated English translation of the composer-theologian Dieter Schnebel’s seminal essay exploring music’s spiritual capacities. Speaking explicitly from his time and place, Schnebel considers compositional questions arising from the most advanced new music of European modernism. The approach is driven
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This article presents an annotated English translation of the composer-theologian Dieter Schnebel’s seminal essay exploring music’s spiritual capacities. Speaking explicitly from his time and place, Schnebel considers compositional questions arising from the most advanced new music of European modernism. The approach is driven by insights derived from Marxist critical theory and the “new theology” associated with Bonhoeffer, Bultmann, and others. Acknowledging the secularized, religionless society Bonhoeffer had predicted in 1944, Schnebel argues that an authentic geistliche Musik has always been one driven by a secularizing dynamic, pressing beyond the walls of the church to engage a broken world of injustice and suffering. For him, the experimental avant-garde is fertile ground, since a music of the Spirit is a new, non-conformist music engaged in renewal. A translator’s introduction analyzes briefly the major components of Schnebel’s thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Music’s Role in Facilitating the Process of Healing—A Thematic Analysis
Religions 2017, 8(9), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8090184
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract
This qualitative study aims to understand the factors motivating Korean migrants’ participation in weekly Charismatic Prayer Meetings in a Catholic Church. As music plays a crucial role in these meetings, the paper explores whether active engagement with music motivated the long-term commitment of
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This qualitative study aims to understand the factors motivating Korean migrants’ participation in weekly Charismatic Prayer Meetings in a Catholic Church. As music plays a crucial role in these meetings, the paper explores whether active engagement with music motivated the long-term commitment of participants to the meetings. The research is based on a thematic analysis of a focus group comprising six Korean adults living in Australia. Results show that music performed in religious forms such as Praise and Worship and Speaking/Singing in Tongues prayers was found to intensify spiritual experiences of the people as a group, and over time, each participant experienced improved physical and mental wellbeing, which in turn motivated further investment in the meetings. It was evident that the passionate group music-making enabled participants to focus on conscious and subconscious body, mind, and spirit, eliciting transpersonal experiences within each person. The findings of the current study are deemed relevant to this specific cohort and to others in similar contexts, where minority groups use worship and music for socio-cultural inclusion that addresses both spiritual and mental health issues. Though a small-scale study, the current paper provides a rationale for these religious groups to be involved in music-based spiritual practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective)
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