EL 269 - Music & Theology in Dialogue

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Module Level


Time Allowance

Lectures: 12 hours


Essay 100%

Module Aims

To introduce students to current scholarship exploring the connections between theology and music

Indicative Syllabus:

Historical overview of the relationship between theology and music

Augustine and music

Theologians in dialogue with music (Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pope emeritus Benedict)

Musicians in dialogue with theology (Johann Sebastian Bach, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt, James McMillan)

Theological themes in popular music

Songs of justice and liberation

Apocalypse and music

Music and interreligious dialogue

Theological dimensions in the music of Ireland

Learning Outcomes

  • Have an overview of the links between music and theology throughout history
  • Appreciate the reasons many contemporary theologians are attending to music and the arts as evident in projects begun at Cambridge University and St Andrew’s, Scotland
  • Be aware of the contribution of music to theology outside the realm of liturgical music
  • Have engaged critically and creatively with music from a variety of genres treating themes of theological concern