Course Memo

This seminar introduces critical frameworks for considering what music has meant and how it has functioned within Christian practice, placing a particular emphasis on the role of sound in colonialist processes and constructions of race in Europe and the United States. Through reading responses, creative assignments, and formal papers, students will learn to articulate ontologies and epistemologies of music from multiple theological and theoretical perspectives; identify aesthetic, historiographical, and theological regimes that have shaped attitudes toward church music and its history; critique social structures and ideologies that complicate the politics of musical expression; and apply these approaches to specific ministry contexts. While centered around the contexts of the Episcopal Church, the course may appeal to students interested in other religious traditions, and to those pursuing degrees in both divinity and theology. [Church History]