In Episode 27 (Creation’s Music) we spoke with Jeremy Begbie and Kirsty Beilharz about how music can point us to God.
But what if it’s music we just don’t like? What about music that’s genuinely bad. Or dissonant. What is the purpose of that type of music? Can music that’s really hard to listen to still point us to the divine?
Special thanks to Zondervan Academic, our show sponsor, publishers of How to Talk about Jesus (without being that guy) by Sam Chan.
- Find out more about our guest Professor Dr Jeremy Begbie here.
- Find out more about our guest Professor Dr Kirsty Beilharz here.
- Seek out Jeremy Begbie’s book Theology, Music and Time.
- Get your hands on Kirsty Beilharz’s book Music Remembers Me: Connection and Wellbeing in Dementia.
- Listen to 20th century composer Arnold Schoenberg’s works on Spotify. Jeremy Begbie talks about Schoenberg and his creation of new methods of musical composition involving atonality.
- Kirsty talks about 20th century composer Olivier Messiaen. This is a great article about his ‘Turangalîla-Symphonie’, from NPR: Finding God, Love And The Meaning Of Life In Messiaen’s ‘Turangalîla-Symphonie’
- Listen to more of Olivier Messiaen on Spotify, too.
- And another insightful article, this time from The Guardian on Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’, which he composed while in a Nazi concentration camp.
- Check out this live recording of Handel’s Messiah from early this year, by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, performed at the Sydney Opera House.
- And here’s some more history about Handel’s Messiah from the Smithsonian Magazine.
- Read more about Luther and Calvin’s approach to music.
- Jeremy Begbie says Oscar Peterson can move him to tears. Let it move you. Listen on Spotify, here. Also, Brahms (here).
- Kirsty Beilharz went through the Life of Jesus course as she wrestled with Christianity. Check out that course, here. (Pssst… it’s a John Dickson course!)
Meet our guests
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.
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.