1st Edition

Making Congregational Music Local in Christian Communities Worldwide

    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What does it mean for music to be considered local in contemporary Christian communities, and who shapes this meaning? Through what musical processes have religious beliefs and practices once ‘foreign’ become ‘indigenous’? How does using indigenous musical practices aid in the growth of local Christian religious practices and beliefs? How are musical constructions of the local intertwined with regional, national or transnational religious influences and cosmopolitanisms?

    Making Congregational Music Local in Christian Communities Worldwide explores the ways that congregational music-making is integral to how communities around the world understand what it means to be ‘local’ and ‘Christian’. Showing how locality is produced, negotiated, and performed through music-making, this book draws on case studies from every continent that integrate insights from anthropology, ethnomusicology, cultural geography, mission studies, and practical theology. Four sections explore a central aspect of the production of locality through congregational music-making, addressing the role of historical trends, cultural and political power, diverging values, and translocal influences in defining what it means to be ‘local’ and ‘Christian’. This book contends that examining musical processes of localization can lead scholars to new understandings of the meaning and power of Christian belief and practice.

    Introduction: Music as local and global positioning: how congregational music-making produces the local in Christian communities worldwide, Monique M. Ingalls, Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg and Zoe C. Sherinian;  PART I: Engaging musical pasts: continuity and change in congregational song practices;  1 The saints who sing and dance: enchanting subjunctive visions in Southeast Brazil, Suzel Ana Reily;  2 Indigenizing Navajo hymns: explaining the fame of Elizabeth and Virginia, Kimberly Jenkins Marshall;  3 Give us a piece of that Old Time Religion: why mainline Protestants are (re)claiming an evangelical musical heritage, Deborah Justice;  PART II: Congregational music and the politics of indigeneity;  4 Song as gift and capital: intercultural processes of indigenization and spiritual transvaluation in Yolngu Christian music, Fiona Magowan;  5 Performing glocal liturgies: the Second Vatican Council and musical inculturation in East Africa,Nicholas Ssempijja;  6 Inculturation, institutions, and the creation of a localized congregational repertoire in Indonesia, Marzanna Poplawska;  PART III: Rifts, reconciliation, and coexistence: congregational music-making in the diverse locale;  7 Sounds of localisation in South African Anglican church music: some examples of transformation at the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown, Andrew-John Bethke;  8 Secular-sacred interface: The Lisu farmer chorus and the cultural politics of representation of minority culture in Yunnan’s Northwestern Nujiang Prefecture, Diao Ying;  9 Interreligious music networks: capitalizing on Balinese gamelan, Dustin D. Wiebe;  PART IV: Christian musical cosmopolitanisms: producing the local across racial and national lines;  10 Congregational song and musical ‘accommodation’ in a South African Lutheran parish, Laryss


    Monique M. Ingalls is Assistant Professor of Music at Baylor University. Her research explores the effects of recent social, cultural, and technological change on evangelical and charismatic Christian congregational music-making in North America and beyond. She has co-editor several books on Christian congregational music topics and is co-founder and Series Editor of Routledge’s Congregational Music Studies Series.

    Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg is a research development manager (strategy) and visiting fellow at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, Australia. She holds a doctorate in applied ethnomusicology. Her research has focussed on Australian Aboriginal Lutheran choral singing, applied research, the anthropology of Christianity, ethics and the relationship between music, health and well-being. She has published several book chapters and articles in her field focussing on Australian Aboriginal choral singing and constructs of identity through performance.

    Zoe C. Sherinian is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Oklahoma. She is author of the book Tamil Folk Music As Dalit Liberation Theology (Indiana University Press, 2014) and producer of the documentary film This Is A Music: Reclaiming An Untouchable Drum, which won the University of Oklahoma’s Outstanding Research Impact Award. Her journal publications include articles in Ethnomusicology, Worlds of Music, Women and Music, and Religion Compass. She has received numerous grants to make her next documentary film on women parai drummers and their syncretic ritual practices at the Sakthi Folk Cultural Centre.

    'Inter-disciplinary research projects are difficult to undertake. I want to congratulate the authors in this book for taking up this significant effort of investigating the music making efforts of local Christian communities drawing on methodological parameters both in and beyond their ethnomusicological arena. The resulting effort of crossing boundaries to undertake this work is most admirable and noteworthy.'

    Lim Swee Hong, Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, Canada