God’s Song and Music’s Meanings
How Shall we Sing the Lord’s Song?
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. 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. Framed by two substantive essays by leading theologians with a profound interest in music, the book’s four main sections will address questions about the history, the performance, the contexts, and the nature of music, as Christians understand it. It will show how any serious discussion of music opens onto considerations of time, tradition, ontology, anthropology, providence, and the nature of God.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Does ‘Musical Meaning’ Mean?
SECTION 1: THE MEANINGS OF MUSIC IN WESTERN HISTORY
1. Providence and Prayer: the Theology of Music in the Patristic Church
2. Music in the Great Chain of Being: Medieval Christianity
3. Hearing Revelation: Music and Theology in the Reformation
4. Music, Atheism and Modernity
SECTION 2: MUSIC’S MEANING IN WORSHIP
4. The Worship of God and the Quest of the Spirit: ‘Contemporary’ versus ‘Traditional’ Church Music
5. The Rise of the Individual, and the Fall of Communal Participation
SECTION 3: MUSICAL MEANING IN CHURCH AND WORLD
6. Musical Promiscuity: the Gods Music Serves
7. What’s Sacred About ‘Sacred Music’?
SECTION 4: GOD, THE COSMOS, AND THE MEANING OF MUSIC
8. Christ the Song of God: Is Music Absolute?
9. Sacred Music and the Holy Trinity
David Bentley Hart
Response to the Essays
The Revd Dr James Hawkey has been a Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey since 2010, and Precentor since 2013, responsible for the daily worshipping life of the Abbey and for designing and planning many of the special services which characterise its unique life. In 2015 he moves to be Dean of Clare College, Cambridge. He read theology at Cambridge, graduating with first class honours and various prizes before becoming a Gosden Scholar of Selwyn College for his MPhil and PhD (in ecclesiology, under the supervision of the late Professor Daniel W. Hardy). Having taught RE and Philosophy at Bedford School, he trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, spent a semester at the Angelicum University in Rome, and served his curacy in inner-city Portsmouth. He was a rapporteur (theological and reporting secretary) to the bishops of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, an invited theologian to the WCC Faith and Order Plenary in Crete, and currently serves as a member of the International Anglican-Reformed Dialogue, the CofE-URC Dialogue, and the Malines Conversations Group. He has published in The Ecumenical Review, One in Christ, and Theology, and writes and speaks regularly on ecumenism and ecclesiology. Professor Ben Quash was Chaplain and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and a lecturer in the Cambridge Theological Federation from 1996-1999, then Dean and Fellow of Peterhouse until he came to King’s College London as its first Professor of Christianity and the Arts in 2007. He works principally in the area of Christian theology, with a longstanding interest in the 19th-century background to modern theology, 20th-century systematics, philosophical theology, and Christian ethics. One of his key research interests is in how the arts can play a part in renewing and refreshing theological engagement with the Bible. He is the author of two major academic monographs - Theology and the Drama of History (CUP, 2005) and Found Theology: History, Imagination and the Holy Spirit (T&T