Music and Spirituality series

Edited by Rev’d Prof. June Boyce-Tillman, Tavener Centre Director, Music and Spirituality explores the relationships between spirituality and music in a variety of traditions and contexts including those in which human beings have performed music with spiritual intention or effect. It addresses the plurality of modern society in the areas of musical style and philosophical and religious beliefs, and gives respect to different positions regarding the place of music both in worship and in wider society.

The series includes historical, anthropological, musicological, ethno-musicological, theological and philosophical dimensions and encourages multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary contributions. It looks for well-researched studies with new and open approaches to spirituality and music and encourages interesting innovative case-studies. Books within the series are subject to peer review and will include single- and co-authored monographs as well as edited collections, including conference proceedings. The use of musical material in either written or recorded form as part of submissions is welcome.

Several of the books in this series have been compiled from papers presented at the Tavener Centre’s annual Study Day in November. For further details on the series and available titles.

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Latest Title

Boyce-Tillman, J. (2018) Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality. A Lived Experience of Celebration (Peter Lang International Academic Publishers)

An autobiographical account of the development of an authentic interiority, this book 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 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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