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Enlivening Faith

Music, Spirituality and Christian Theology


Edited By June Boyce-Tillman, Stephen Roberts and Jane Erricker

The relationship between Christian theology and music has been complex since the early days

of the Church. In the twentieth century the secularization of Western culture has led to further

complexity. The search for the soul, following Nietzsche’s declaration of the Death of God has

led to an increasing body of literature in many fields on spirituality. This book is an attempt

to open up a conversation between these related discourses, with contributions reflecting a

range of perspectives within them. It is not the final word on the relationship but expresses a

conviction about their relationship. Collecting together such a variety of approaches allows new

understandings to emerge from their juxtaposition and collation. This book will contribute to

the ongoing debate between theology, spirituality, culture and the arts. It includes contexts with

structured relationships between music and the Church alongside situations where spirituality

and music are explored with sometimes distant echoes of Divinity and ancient theologies

reinterpreted for the contemporary world.


List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction 1


Terry Biddington

1 Music, spirituality and prayer: A chaplain reflects on the possibilities for being 17


Brian Inglis

2 Musical composition and mystical spirituality 25

June Boyce-Tillman

3 The Western audience as congregation 45

Nancy L. Graham

4 Spirituality by Heart 67

Wilfrid Jones

5 A new liturgical movement forward: Testing the reform of the reform through music 83


Interlude One

Sister Aileen CSC

6 Spirituality and music in the religious life: A Religious reflects 117

Musical Listening in a Troubled World

Gregory Clifton Smith

7 ‘Listen … with the ear of your heart’: Music and pastoral care 127

Susan Quindag

8 It is well with my soul: How spiritual music is relationship despite racism 145

Alexander Westmacott

9 Songs of soil, tracts of land: An agritheological analysis of the harvest section of Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861 163

Helena Mary Kettleborough

10 Music and spirituality within planet and cosmos: Exploring the contribution of music to sharing the ideas of Thomas Berry 181

Interlude Two

Stephen B. Roberts

11 Learning theology through music: A homiletic reflection 211


Fabian Lochner

19 What angels? Gregorian chant and spiritual meaning in a secular world: Reflections on an artistic collaboration between Gregorian chant ensemble Schola Nova Silvana and British poet Hilary Stobbs 349


June Boyce-Tillman

20 Sermon on music: A priest preaches 389

Notes on contributors 401

Index 409