Music and Religion: What I learned and What I’ll take away

This was a very good class for me to take. It forced me to look at religion from a very different perspective than what I’m accustomed to doing. I was seeking more of an experience where I could learn more about how religion and music intersected and how each fed off the other. I certainly got that from this class in more ways than one. Through the process of reading the class readings and podcast topics thinking of how to incorporate these two topics together, I was forced again to see how complex this intersection is.

Like I said in my first paper, as an evangelical Christian, I wish that life was much more simple and black and white. I wish that religion wasn’t so complicated and that music wasn’t so complicated too. Ten people (even evangelicals) can look at the Bible and come up with completely different interpretations of the same text. There’s too much subjective opinion, and that is one thing that will always frustrate me about life in academia. You can never find an objective truth, and you’ll spend your whole life writing your educated opinion. I want something more practical for my life.

But that being said, the process of research and writing has also been very invigorating. Through my work in this class, I’ve been forced to face some challenges to my pre-conceived notions and have needed to defend my views logically and succinctly. Through thinking through my faith, it has made it stronger. This process of thinking and questioning used to terrify me, but now I realize that it’s OK to read other views and consider them (this has been a process my whole college career). Through thinking about music’s connection to faith, I’ve come to love music even more as I start to understand that God created all music to glorify Himself.

I wish we had dug more into practical theology and how music and religion helps us live our lives, but I know this isn’t Bible college. I’m very happy though I went to a college of the Church where I could ask these questions, and this class has just made me want to learn more about music and my faith. As a future seminary student who intends to keep on teaching music, I want to know how my two loves can be combined to live out my fullest vocation. This class got me started for sure, and I’m very grateful it was an option for upper level history (nothing else would have been nearly as interesting and fulfilling as this course).

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