This essay collection, co-edited by M. Jennifer Bloxam (Williams College) and Andrew Shenton, is devoted to exploring the richness of Christian musical traditions from ancient chant to contemporary African-American gospel music. It reflects the distinctive critical perspectives of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, an association of scholars dedicated to exploring the intersections of Christian faith and musical scholarship. As part of our 15th anniversary celebrations, SCSM seeks to celebrate its work in the world and bring it to a larger audience by offering a cross-section of the most outstanding scholarship presented at our annual conferences. This collection draws on selected keynotes from the last fifteen years, along with a core of essays by notable senior scholars associated with the Society. They are joined by three outstanding essays by junior scholars who have won the prize for best graduate student paper at our annual conference in recent years.
Exploring Christian Song will be published by Lexington Books in spring 2017, and will be available online via their own website, and online stores such as Amazon.
The essays in this collection are ecumenical, reflecting the worldwide diversity of Christian traditions. They range from explorations of Catholic sacred music in the Renaissance through German Lutheran song in the 18th century to close analyses of specific works by two major Eastern European composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Two powerful strands of contemporary American sacred song, African-American gospel and evangelical “praise and worship” music, further diversify the scope of the volume. These eight essays are enclosed by three essays that all aim, in different ways, to illuminate global ecumenical connections between Christian song communities.
“Considering Christian Song in Context”
Building Bridges with Christian Song I
“Song as a Sign and Means of Christian Unity”
Reading Books of Catholic Song c. 1500
“The Late Medieval Composer as Cleric: Browsing Chant Manuscripts with Obrecht”
“Reading Ottaviano Petrucci’s Motetti A and Motetti Libro Quarto as Devotional Books”
Theology and Lutheran Song in the 18th Century
“Theology and Musical Conventions in the Arias of J. S. Bach”
“Apocalyptic Visions and Moral Education in 18th Century Enlightenment: Earthquakes and the Sublime in Oratorios by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann”
Christian Song in 20th-Century Eastern Europe
“Kodály’s Genevan Psalm 50: The Composer as Prophet in the Midst of National Crisis”
“Magnificat: Arvo Pärt the Quiet Evangelist”
Preaching through Christian Song in Contemporary America
“ʻTuning Up’: Towards a Gospel Aesthetic”
“ʻSongs are Sermons that People Actually Remember’: Homo Liturgicus and Hymnody in the 268 Generation”
Building Bridges with Christian Song II
“Musical Code-Switching: A Case for Triangulation in Religious Song Evidence from South Africa”
“Bridging the Old and the New in Contemporary Contexts: The Creative Task of the Christian Scholar”