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.
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, Universita¨t 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.
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