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Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality

A Lived Experience of Celebration

Series:

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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List of Figures

Extract

| ix →

Figures

Figure 1: The author and her parents at their home in Redbridge (approx. 1958).

Figure 2: The author at MA graduation in the grounds of St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

Figure 3: The author conducting.

Figure 4: Space for Peace programme.

Figure 5: Community Choir in the Lady Chapel at Winchester cathedral.

Figure 6: Participants in Space for Peace.

Figure 7: The rabbi and the imam sing together.

Figure 8: Meditative artistic activity in Space for Peace.

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