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Title: Variations on an Anglican theme : sound, music and the making of Christian bodies
Author: Apostu, Alina
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 6098
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores how church music-making shapes Christians and how Christians, in turn, shape music-making. Based on a comparative ethnography of two London-based Anglican churches, a 'conservative' Evangelical church and a 'traditional' middle-of-the-road parish church, I illustrate how the orchestration of service elements – music, liturgy, prayer, and sermon – creates different sonic environments that, in their turn, mould different modes of 'doing church' – the acts of integrating individual religiosities into a collective experience. Drawing on the 'material turn' in religious studies, phenomenology, (ethno)musicology and sound studies, I focus on music practices in rehearsals and services in order to investigate how choir members and their fellow worshippers fashion themselves as Christians through sonic relationships with each other and with God. My main argument is that church music-making brings forth a sensorial awareness of 'being Christian' by inducing experiences of alterity – the self as other, the Christian-other, the non-Christian-other, and the God-other – while also providing modes of integrating the various dimensions of otherness into the collective body of worshippers. Positioned within the anthropology of Christianity, this thesis indicates possibilities for studying religion beyond restricting its scope to texts and doctrines and by moving beyond a one-sided focus on Pentecostalism in the Global South to include mainline churches in a secularized 'global city' such as London. Thereby, the thesis sheds a fresh light on the diversity of practices and Christian subjectivities within Protestant understandings of religion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral