The Extravagance of Music

A major work on music and religious experience brings new insights to the field of theology and the arts.

Professor David Brown and Dr Gavin Hopps examine the overlooked theological dimensions of music in a new publication entitled The Extravagance of Music.

The volume is available in hardback and e-book formats, with a free online preview on the publisher’s website.


Excerpt from the publisher’s description:

“This book explores the ways in which music can engender religious experience, by virtue of its ability to evoke the ineffable and affect how the world is open to us. Arguing against approaches that limit the religious significance of music to an illustrative function, The Extravagance of Music sets out a more expansive and optimistic vision, which suggests that there is an ‘excess’ or ‘extravagance’ in both music and the divine that can open up revelatory and transformative possibilities.”


Publication details

David Brown and Gavin Hopps, The Extravagance of Music, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Foreword by Frank Burch Brown (pp.v-xvii).

Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-91817-4
e-Book ISBN: 91818-1

Call for survey participants

As part of ITIA’s innovative research, we are pleased to share the following call for participants for a survey on progressive rock and spirituality.

Hello! My name is Kimberley Anderson and I’m a PhD student in Theology and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. My thesis explores how certain forms of progressive rock might be connected to spiritual or religious experience. To make my project as accurate as possible, I am gathering first-hand accounts of how listeners experience this music, and I would be delighted to hear from you if you have anything to say about this combination of ideas.

This month I am running a survey that is open to people of all backgrounds, beliefs and persuasions, as long as they are over 18 years of age and interested in progressive rock. My definition of progressive rock is very flexible, so please do not be put off if you only have experience with a few bands which fit loosely into this category.

It starts with some quick, general questions about how you perceive and experience prog rock, and moves on to ask participants to describe, where possible, specific kinds of experience related to progressive rock and spirituality. It can be completed online via the link below and, all in all, should only take 15-20 minutes of your time. Your answers will be treated confidentially, but there is also the option to leave your email address in case you are willing to keep in touch and perhaps answer any more questions (this would be extremely helpful!).

PhD Researcher: Kimberley Jane Anderson, University of St Andrews, kja2@st-andrews.ac.uk
Supervisor: Dr Gavin Hopps, University of St Andrews, grh10@st-andrews.ac.uk

Dr Rebekah Lamb appointed to ITIA lectureship

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Rebekah Lamb to a new lectureship in Theology & the Arts at the School of Divinity, University of St Andrews, starting in August 2018.

Dr Lamb is currently a Gilson post-doctoral fellow at the University of St Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. Her research specialization is in Pre-Raphaelite art and poetry.

She is currently completing a book with McGill-Queen’s University Press on boredom as a distinctive, emerging modern experience of time in the Victorian period, and on theological and aesthetic dimensions and responses to that experience. She has recently published on Christina Rossetti’s theology of boredom, Chesterton and the Distributist Movement, and Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Liturgy and Personality.

Dr Lamb will be working in the School’s Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts alongside Dr Gavin Hopps (Senior Lecturer in Theology and Literature), Prof. Judith Wolfe (Professor of Philosophical Theology), and Dr George Corbett (Lecturer in Theology, Imagination and the Arts). She will contribute to the Institute’s expanded provision in undergraduate teaching and graduate distance learning, and to its creative and outreach initiatives.

‘After the Call’ exhibition

ITIA artists invite you to examine with them what happens after the call.

The Transept – a group of practicing artists within the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) – invites you to join us for an upcoming performance and exhibition.

‘After the Call’ offers space and time for celebration and reflection around the notion of being called unexpectedly to something unknown, or perhaps to something all-too-familiar that we suddenly realise.


6-15 April 2018

Venue open from 12:00 to 17:00 each day.

Performance evening on 11th April at 19:00 – engaging and interdisciplinary performance with music, poetry and monologues.

Location: Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Queens Terrace, St Andrews KY16 9QF

Opening: Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Theology and the Arts

We wish to appoint a Lecturer (a standard position equivalent to a US Assistant Professor) within the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts in the School of Divinity at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. You will be a scholar with a growing international research reputation in Theology and the Arts, and commitment to delivering high-quality teaching within that broad field. You will be expected to have a range of interests that strengthen or complement those in the Institute and the School, to be active in research publication, and to be capable of teaching the subject to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students from a wide range of backgrounds.

You should have academic and/or professional training in both theology and one of the arts (musical, visual, dramatic, or literary), and hold a PhD in a cognate discipline. We welcome applications from candidates with any theological and artistic specialisms within this interdisciplinary field, and particularly invite applications from those who complement our current strengths, for example by being able to contribute to our growing collaborative work in Sacred Music.

It is essential that you have a strong research record, potential for excellent teaching, and an interest in collegial, interdisciplinary work. You should also have some familiarity with grant-seeking processes in relation to research councils and other sources.

Closing Date: 12 March 2018

Salary: £39,992 – £49,149 per annum

Start: 1 September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter

Advertisement, Further Particulars, and application forms are available here.

Natasha O’Hear receives ACE award

ITIA is pleased to congratulate our own Natasha O’Hear and her co-author Anthony O’Hear on the recognition of their book Picturing the Apocalypse (Oxford University Press).

Picturing the Apocalypse was awarded a prize by Art and Christianity Enquiry, who promote excellence in educational projects and academic research in the field of visual art and religion.

The ACE/Mercers’ Book Award is the only literary prize worldwide for a publication that notably advances a public understanding of the relationship between the visual arts and religious experience, beliefs and practice.

Dr Natasha O’Hear is part-time Lecturer in Theology & Visual Art at ITIA. The prize of £3,000 was presented in October.

 

TheoArtistry Poets’ Scheme

The Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) is delighted to announce a new collaboration with StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival.

Following the success of the TheoArtistry Composers’ Scheme (which has led to six new works of choral music, recently recorded by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir), ITIA and StAnza are launching the TheoArtistry Poets’ Scheme.

For more information, and to apply, please see the Creative Scotland website.

Martinmas 2017 research seminar

Our first research seminar of the new semester will be held on Friday, 22 September 2017.
ITIA and Divinity postgraduates, faculty, and guests are all welcome.

ITIA research seminars take place every Friday at 11am during term time. The full schedule is available here.

ITIA Seminar © Transpositions

Candlemas 2017 research seminar

Our first research seminar of the new semester will be held on Friday, 3 February 2017. ITIA and Divinity postgraduates, faculty, and guests are all welcome.

ITIA research seminars take place every Friday at 11am during term time. The full schedule is available here.