Music and religious experiences

Alf Gabrielsson

in Strong Experiences with Music

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695225
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729775 | DOI:
Music and religious experiences

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Religion and music have always been closely associated. Regardless of which religion, music is an important part of rites and cult activities, sometimes even dance. This chapter presents accounts of strong experiences with music in connection with religious experiences. The narrators' attitudes to Christianity vary. Some of them are explicit religious believers, others haven't taken a stance; some describe themselves as atheists and others don't mention anything at all about this. The accounts have been divided into different groups according to content or theme. A first group of accounts is about how music gave rise to visions of heaven, life to come, paradise, or eternity. The accounts in the second group provide examples of how music is associated with experiences of spiritual peace, holiness, and Christian fellowship. The theme in the third group could be said to be religious communication.

Keywords: strong experiences with music; religious experience; heaven; paradise; spiritual peace; christianity; religious communication; personal accounts

Chapter.  11107 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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