Ethics and Christian Musicking  book cover
1st Edition

Ethics and Christian Musicking

ISBN 9780367431488
Published March 23, 2021 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

The relationship between musical activity and ethical significance occupies long traditions of thought and reflection both within Christianity and beyond. From concerns regarding music and the passions in early Christian writings through to moral panics regarding rock music in the 20th century, Christians have often gravitated to the view that music can become morally weighted, building a range of normative practices and prescriptions upon particular modes of ethical judgment. But how should we think about ethics and Christian musical activity in the contemporary world?

As studies of Christian musicking have moved to incorporate the experiences, agencies, and relationships of congregations, ethical questions have become implicit in new ways in a range of recent research - how do communities negotiate questions of value in music? How are processes of encounter with a variety of different others negotiated through musical activity? What responsibilities arise within musical communities? This volume seeks to expand this conversation. Divided into four sections, the book covers the relationship of Christian musicking to the body; responsibilities and values; identity and encounter; and notions of the self. The result is a wide-ranging perspective on music as an ethical practice, particularly as it relates to contemporary religious and spiritual communities.

This collection is an important milestone at the intersection of ethnomusicology, musicology, religious studies and theology. It will be a vital reference for scholars and practitioners reflecting on the values and practices of worshipping communities in the contemporary world.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Music and Ethics in Contemporary Christianity

Mark Porter and Nathan Myrick

Part I: The Body and Beyond

1 Praise, Politics, Power: Ethics of the Body in Christian Musicking

Marcell Silva Steuernagel

2 The Silence of the Monks—The Ethics of Everyday Sounds

Marcel Cobussen

3 Delay, or, When Breath Precedes Encounter: Aesthet(h)ic(al) Negotiations in Black Gospel’s Afro-Asian Crossings

Bo kyung Blenda Im

Part II: Fulfilling Responsibilities and Negotiating Values

4 "That Worship Sound": Ethics, Things, and Shimmer Reverberation

Jeff R Warren

5 Amateurism-without-Amateurishness, or Authenticity as Vanishing Act in Evangelical Worship Music

Joshua Kalin Busman

6 Music Business, Ethics, and Christian Festivals: Progressive Christianity at Wild Goose Festival

Andrew Mall

7 The Ethics of Adaptation in Hymns and Songs for Worship

Maggi Dawn

Part III: Identity and Encounter

8 "Hillsong and Black": The Ethics of Style, Representation and Identity in the Hillsong Megachurch

Tanya Riches and Alexander Douglas

9 A Worship-Rooted Lifestyle? Exploring Evangelical Ethics at Bethel Church, Redding, CA

Emily Snider Andrews

10 Applied Ethnomusicology in Postmission Australian Aboriginal Contexts: Ethical Responsibility, Style, and Aesthetics

Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg

11 Singing Together as Global Citizens: Toward a Musical Ethic of Relational Accompaniment

Maren Haynes Marchesini

Part IV: Valuing the Self

12 Deceitful Hearts and Transformed Lives: Performing Truth and Truthfulness in Fundamentalist Christian Vocal Music

Sarah Bereza

13 Beyoncé Mass and the Flourishing of Black Women

Tamisha Tyler

14 Ethics, Experience, and Western Classical Sacred Music

Jonathan Arnold

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Nathan Myrick is Assistant Professor of Church Music in the Townsend School of Music and Director of the Music and Human Flourishing Research Project (funded by a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship with Funds provided by the Lilly Endowment, Inc) at Mercer University. A graduate of Baylor University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Providence University College, his research focuses on musical activity and human flourishing in the context of Christian communities. He is the author of Music for Others: Care, Justice, and Relational Ethics in Christian Music (2021), and the author and series editor of "Music Matters" for Ethics Daily. His work has appeared in ​The Yale Journal of Music and Religion, Bloomsbury Academic, Liturgy, The Hymn, and others.

Mark Porter studied at University College, Oxford, and King’s College, London, before completing his doctorate in ethnomusicology at City University, London in 2014. Following this, in 2015, he took up a postdoctoral fellowship at Max-Weber-Kolleg, Universität Erfurt. He is author of ​Contemporary Worship and Everyday Musical Lives (Routledge 2016) and Ecologies of Resonance in Christian Musicking (2020) and is co-founder and programme chair of the biennial Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives conference