Music is an integral part of the liturgies of almost every major religion. It is often used as a way of mediating ones relationship with God. It is a traditional element of many rituals connected with the life cycle, those important events that form part of the shared human experience: birth, coming of age, marriage, having children and death. Since music is fundamental to the religious experience and has not yet been subject to rigorous comparative scrutiny, this publication aims to answer one fundamental question:
What is the role of music in the rituals of the major religions of the world?
This text seeks to put both the religion and its music in cultural and historical context using interdisciplinary methodologies, including religious studies and musical analysis. It is designed to broadly explain the role of music in each of the religions so as to be comprehensible to those unfamiliar with the particular tradition. It provides a basic framework for understanding the issues surrounding the duties and practices, rituals, scriptures, articles of faith, holy days, prayers and denominational differences for each religion in a way that is comprehensible to the general reader. It explores the role of music in the rituals of each with detailed listening guides and case studies.
Dr. Shenton will be assisted by several specialists in order to provide a text that values cross cultural dialogue, pluralism, and acknowledges religion as a powerful force in the lives of most people. The text presents facts and figures regarding the use of music in many of the world’s religions. It attempts to present the religion as the religion presents itself so that it can be evaluated by the readers according to their own tradition, culture and experience.
This text will be available as an iBook and on a variety of other digital platforms starting in 2018.