Thursday, May 8, 2008

11 Unqualified Provocations

I'm hopeful that someone will pick up this piece I originally wrote for The Pub, the unofficial magazine at Wheaton. It's tangentially related to the ekphrasis course in one way (I assigned the students last semester the task of writing a hymn/song).

Here's a portion:
We should be very careful what we put in other people's mouths. Because songs only exist when they enter and leave the bodies of others (either when they are sung or when they are heard), writers of hymns and leaders of singing need to be more careful than ever about the kind of textual relations we have within our bodies (see provocations three and four above). Too often we sing, over and over, lyrics that break under the weight of repetition. Precisely because music lodges in our senses, our memories of the texts with which music is joined will form some of our most powerful spiritual and theological experiences.

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