Word, Chant, and Song
Spiritual Transformation in Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Sikhism
Series: SUNY Series in Religious Studies
- ISBN: 9781438475752
- Published By: State University of New York Press
- Published: September 2019
An accessible introduction to the centrality of word, chant, and song in the Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Sikh traditions.
In academic religious studies and musicology, little attention has been given to chanted word, hymns, and songs, yet these are often the key spiritual practices for lay devotees. To address this gap in knowledge, Harold Coward presents a thematic study of sacred sound as it functions in word, chant, and song for devotees in the Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Sikh traditions. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction of a particular tradition’s word/scripture, followed by case studies showcasing the diversity of understanding and the range of chant and song in devotee practice, and concludes with a brief illustration of new trends in music and chant within the tradition. Written in a style that will appeal to both scholars and lay readers, technical terms are clearly explained and case studies explicitly include devotees’ personal experiences of songs and chants in public and private religious ritual.