In this course, we will explore the place of music and musical practice across a wide variety of religious contexts—from indigenous traditions of Africa and the Americas, to Buddhism and Hinduism, to the Abrahamic monotheisms. Drawing from both historical and contemporary sources, the course will examine such questions as: How have religious traditions used acoustic and musical metaphors for the elaboration of distinct concepts of transcendence, divinity, or cosmology? What forms of knowledge and agency is ascribed to the performance and audition of music within different traditions? What forms of sensory attunement does religious listening require across these traditions? How does the spread of popular, mass-mediated forms of religious music impact on the role ascribed to music by different religions?
Religion and Music
TuTh 9:30 - 11:00