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.