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Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality

A Lived Experience of Celebration


June Boyce-Tillman

This book is an autobiographical account of the development of an authentic interiority. It charts the way in which the Christian faith in which the author was enculturated was refined by her lived experience of music, abuse, forgiveness, interfaith dialogue, gender and vocation (into teaching and priesthood). The author describes how music and spirituality can create a route into forgiveness by creatively transforming («mulching») childhood abuse into celebration. Her work challenges established therapeutic models and suggests a variety of alternative tools, including created ritual.

The volume is set out as a series of meditations on the themes contained in the Lord’s Prayer; it can be read in separate sections, as well as in its totality. The author’s life is perceived as a crystal that can be viewed through various lenses, illustrated by different styles of writing. These include narrative accounts written in a personal style; hymns, songs and poems that condense her thinking around a theme; and more academic reflection, using other people’s writing and experiences to understand her own.

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Music and Spirituality explores the relationships between spirituality and music in a variety of traditions and contexts including those in which human beings have performed music with spiritual intention or effect. It will address the plurality of modern society in the areas of musical style and philosophical and religious beliefs, and give respect to different positions regarding the place of music both in worship and in the wider society. It will include historical, anthropological, musicological, ethnomusicological, theological and philosophical dimensions and encourage multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary contributions.

It looks for well-researched studies with new and open approaches to spirituality and music and will encourage interesting innovative case-studies. Books within the series are subject to peer review and will include single and co-authored monographs as well as edited collections including conference proceedings. It will consider the use of musical material in either written or recorded form as part of submissions.

The Series Editor

The Rev Professor June Boyce-Tillman MBE is Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester, where she runs the Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing and the Taverner centre for Music and Spirituality. She has wide experience in education, spirituality and music and has published widely in these areas. She is an Extraordinary Professor at North West Univeristy, South Africa. She is a self-supporting ordained Anglican Priest and received an MBE for her contribution to music and education.

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