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Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality

A Lived Experience of Celebration

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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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JUNE BOYCE-TILLMAN MBE read music at Oxford University and is Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester. She has published widely in the area of music and education, most recently on spirituality/liminality. Her doctoral research into children’s musical development has been translated into five languages. She is the artistic convenor of the Winchester Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing and the Tavener Centre for Music and Spirituality as well as being an Extraordinary Professor at North West University, South Africa. She is also an ordained Anglican priest and honorary chaplain to Winchester Cathedral.

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