What is music and what is it about music that stirs the human soul?
Is it just a series of sound waves producing neurological responses … or could music be – as so many ancients believed – a signal from God?
Join us for this episode as we take a look at the enduring love affair between music and the human heart.
Special thanks to Zondervan Academic, our show sponsor, publishers of Evangelical Theology by Michael F Bird.
- Find out more about our guest Professor Dr Jeremy Begbie here.
- Find out more about our guest Professor Dr Kirsty Beilharz here.
- Check out this interview Professor Begbie did with Christianity Today in 2018, about Christian artists and their need for a firm grounding in Scripture.
- Read more about the conundrum of consciousness here.
- Seek out Jeremy Begbie’s book Theology, Music and Time.
- Want to start listening to St Matthew Passion but don’t know where to start? Check out this helpful guide from NPR (America’s National Public Radio).
- Get your hands on Kirsty Beilharz’s book Music Remembers Me: Connection and Wellbeing in Dementia.
- Kirsty spoke to Eternity News in 2016 about dementia care and music. Read the article here.
- Do Mark Hadley a favour and read The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Centre For Public Christianity fellow Barney Zwartz wrote this piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, titled ‘The power of music is a path to God’.
- Read the story of AN Wilson’s conversion back to Christianity in The New Statesman, where he says “The existence of langauge is one of the many phenomena – of which love and music are the two strongest – which suggest that human beings are very much more than collections of meat. They convince me that we are spiritual beings, and that the religion of the incarnation, asserting that God made humanity in His image, and continually restores humanity in His image, is simply true.”
- From this episode’s 5 Minute Jesus, read the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Meet our guests
Jeremy Begbie is Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Research Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School, and the McDonald Agape Director and founder of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts.
His books include A Peculiar Orthodoxy: Reflections on Theology and the Arts (Baker Academic), Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts: Bearing Witness to the Triune God (Eerdmans), Theology, Music and Time (CUP), Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Baker), and Music, Modernity, and God (OUP).
He is an ordained minister of the Church of England and a professionally trained musician who has performed extensively as a pianist and conductor. He tours widely as a speaker, specializing in multimedia performance-lectures.
Kirsty Beilharz is Professor and Director of Mission, and Director of Research (Graduate Programs) at Excelsia College, Australia.
Kirsty’s passion for academic leadership extends to research, higher education strategy, student and staff formation; ethics; and inclusion and social justice for marginalised people, especially the elderly, and women.
Her recent writing has focused on student formation in the context of diversity and plurality; living well at the end of life; ethical issues including palliative care, wellbeing interventions for people living with dementia and in aged care; theological and philosophical perspectives on music, equity and opportunity, governance and organisational leadership.