Synopsis: "The conversation between music and theology, dormant for too long in recent years, is at last gathering pace. And rightly so. There will always be theologians who will regard music as a somewhat peripheral concern, too trivial to trouble the serious scholar, and in any case almost impossible to engage because of its notorious resistance to words and concepts. But an increasing number are discovering again what many of our forbears realized centuries ago, that the kinship between this pervasive feature of human life and the search for a Christian 'intelligence of faith' is intimate and ineradicable. Maeve Heaney's ambitious, wide-ranging, and energetic book pushes the conversation further forward still. Her approach is unapologetically theological, grounded in the passions and concerns of mainstream doctrinal theology. And yet she is insisting . . . that music must be given its due place in the ecology of theology. Although convinced that music should not be set up as a rival to linguistic or conceptual articulation, let alone swallow up 'traditional' modes of theological language and thought, she is equally convinced that music is an irreducible means of coming to terms with the world, a unique vehicle of world-disclosure, and as such, can generate a particular form of 'understanding' 'there are things which God may only be saying through music.' If this is so, it is incumbent on the theologian to listen." --Jeremy Begbie, from the Foreword Endorsements: "In a daring and inspiring study in theology as an aesthetic discipline, Heaney explores the role of music in the aesthetic conversion of people to their real, bodily presence. As Christian faith teaches that God has revealed and reveals himself in real, bodily presence, and as our reception of his real presence demands our real presence, it follows that music can make us susceptible to God's revelation." --Willem Marie Speelman, Tilburg University "Heaney offers us a courageously interdisciplinary book on how music can mediate religious faith. She brings together her own gifts as composer, performer, and theologian in order to create a fruitful dialog between musical theory, theological aesthetics, and a praxis of religious communication. Thus, readers will find many stimulating pages, ranging from personal testimony to academic insights." --Michael Paul Gallagher, Gregorian University "It would be hard to imagine a book more committed to exploring and celebrating music's theological gifts, present as well as past. Heaney conveys a marvelous sense of music as a living medium, resonant with theological significance on multiple levels, and able to enter into and nurture the transformed, embodied Christian life. In this multifaceted study, she draws on an impressive (at times almost overwhelming) array of resources, from ethnomusicology to theological aesthetics, especially, but not exclusively, Catholic." --Frank Burch Brown, University of Chicago Divinity School Author Biography: Maeve Louise Heaney, a missionary of the Verbum Dei Fraternity, has taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University and is the 2011-2012 Banaan Fellow of Santa Clara University, California. She researches and teaches in the areas of fundamental theology, music, and spirituality.
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