Jazz and Christian Freedom

Improvising against the Grain of the West

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Bradley K. Broadhead
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Pickwick Publications
    , December
     244 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jamall Andrew Calloway forthcoming.


Contemporary Western society has a strange relationship with freedom. Unbridled subjective liberty and narrow fundamentalism pull away from each other in mutual loathing while sociological forces seek to manipulate both sides. The church needs to recover and reconstruct a theology of freedom to navigate between the perils of both extremes and to avoid being manipulated by these forces. Just as biblical figures are taught through parables and metaphors, this book uses jazz improvisation as an analogy for Christian freedom. Just as jazz improvisation relies on successfully navigating constraints such as the history and traditions of jazz, jazz theory, and musical instruments, so Christian freedom also relies on constraints such as the biblical canon, church history, theology, and the church itself. Through understanding the freedom jazz musicians enjoy in making music together, we can better understand how Christian freedom might be enacted in daily life. If Western churches discover and enact Christian freedom in a meaningful way, the songs that they improvise will be as siren calls to people in chains.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Bradley K. Broadhead is Pastor of Oyen Evangelical Missionary Church, Oyen, Alberta.


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