Singing Reconciliation: Moral Practice, Embodied Theology

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2020

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the role that music-making plays in the mature, Christian life according to the letter to the Colossians. Paul writes this letter to instruct the Colossian congregation in how to “walk worthily of the Lord” (Col 1:9, 2:6), and the practice of singing plays a crucial part (Col 3:16). This dissertation draws from studies in ethnomusicology, anthropology of the voice, and music psychology to gain frameworks for conceptualizing how a social practice like music-making shapes participants into a community and forms how they know themselves, their community, and the world. We will find that, as a corporate, vocal practice of music-making, the singing in Col 3:16 enables the members of the church community to inhabit the story of reconciliation to God and others in Christ—a story which is captured in the Christ Hymn (Col 1:15-20). In the end, taking part in corporate singing aids the Colossians as they grow into maturity in Christ.

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Whisenand, Amy (2020). Singing Reconciliation: Moral Practice, Embodied Theology. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24447.

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