The Gift of Dazzlement

Sander van Maas

in The Reinvention of Religious Music

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230570
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236695 | DOI:
The Gift of Dazzlement

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This chapter examines the music of dazzlement in Olivier Messiaen's religious music composition based on the phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion. It explains that Marion contrasts everyday experience to two exceptional phenomena that constitute a frame that may help interpret the phenomenon of breakthrough: the idol whose luster is closely related to the thematics of overwhelming in La Transfiguration, and the icon which Marion relates to a different sort of excess than that which can be found in the idol. This chapter analyzes where the phenomenology of idol and icon provide a key for understanding the relation between religion and music, and argues that the position of Messiaen is poised between iconicity and idolatry.

Keywords: Olivier Messiaen; religious music composition; idol; icon; La Transfiguration; religion and music

Chapter.  16597 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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