Wednesday, March 24, 2021

"Music for Others"

New from Oxford University Press: Music for Others: Care, Justice, and Relational Ethics in Christian Music by Nathan Myrick.

About the book, from the publisher:

Musical activity is one of the most ubiquitous and highly valued forms of social interaction in North America (to say nothing of world over), being engaged from sporting events to political rallies, concerts to churches. Moreover, music's use as an affective agent for political and religious programs suggests that it has ethical significance. Indeed, many have said as much. It is surprising then that music's ethical significance remains one of the most undertheorized aspects of both moral philosophy and music scholarship.

Music for Others: Care, Justice, and Relational Ethics in Christian Music fills part of this scholarly gap by focusing on the religious aspects of musical activity, particularly on the practices of Christian communities. Based on ethnomusicological fieldwork at three Protestant churches and a group of seminary students studying in an immersion course at South by Southwest (SXSW), and synthesizing theories of discourse, formation, and care ethics oriented towards restorative justice, it first argues that relationships are ontological for both human beings and musical activity. It further argues that musical meaning and emotion converge in human bodies such that music participates in personal and communal identity construction in affective ways-yet these constructions are not always just. Thus, considering these aspects of music's ways of being in the world, Music for Others finally argues that music is ethical when it preserves people in and restores people to just relationships with each other, and thereby with God.
Visit Nathan Myrick's website.

--Marshal Zeringue