Theology and Music

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Music has had a long and complicated relationship with Christian theology. Augustine is torn between music’s beauty and grief over how it can distract from the lyrics it accompanies. Luther’s ringing endorsement of music is countered by Zwingli’s prohibition of music in worship. And more recently, several scholars are endeavouring to, in the words of Jeremy Begbie, “enquire as to the ways in which music can benefit theology.”1 This course examines both historical and contemporary conversations between theology and music in order to better understand the role of music in the Church and to explore how music can enhance our understanding of God and his work in the world.


  • To become familiar with the historical relationship between theology and music in the church
  • To identify the major insights of contemporary theologians looking at the intersection between music and theology


  • To gain a new perspective on theology and musis


  • Listening to music from a theological perspective
  • A creative musical project or research paper