The role of music in the spiritual life considered in the light of the orthodox Christian tradition

Gamalova, Devorina (2006) The role of music in the spiritual life considered in the light of the orthodox Christian tradition. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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The current thesis is not intending to examine a specific type of music, genre, form or individual authors, neither to scrutinize the technicalities of spiritual manifestation in different compositional methods and works, but it is rather engaged with the phenomenon of music as an art in general (Church music, classical, secular, folk), with its manifestations and influences; and these seen inthe context of Christian theology preserved in its most complete form in the Orthodox Church.

There is a sufficient amount of pre-existing work, which explores one or another aspect of the relevant questions but the motivation for this research was brought up by the need of a summary, of an overview bringing them all together. By collecting, compressing and systemizing some of the material essential to the chosen topic, it is hoped to investigate, though not in detail, how music can contribute to our spiritual growth but at the same time to
become aware when and why it cannot.

Each of the separate chapters can become an object of separate study. The tendency, however, is not to give a comprehensive answer and to solve the most complex questions of interrelationships between Spirit (God) –
man – creativity – art – music, but to raise them and to give a perspective enabling future scholars to answer, extend and deepen them. The scarcity of personal spiritual experience leads inevitably to limitations of the theological material within the range of Systematic Theology. In the parts concerned with subjects of creativity and music, the individual vision and appraisal, based on personal practice, observations and reflections is more evident. Even though the approach adopted in presenting the material is multidisciplinary based on the theoretical viewpoints and of different musicologists, historians and theologians, the angle from which it is presented is rather practico-creative. This means that the subjects ae considered through the conception of the world of the performer of music and not of its composer or theoretician.

On the whole only the shaping and structuring of the idea are original; the materials for its development are drawn from sources of greater authority. The originality therefore lies more in the synthesis rather than in a
detailed analysis. Thus the plural form, presenting the collective thoughts generated in this way, is preferred.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: Music; Christian theology; Creativity; Spiritual growth
Subjects: Music
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2012 16:05
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:16

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