'This book makes me want to take singing lessons--really. Many contemporary churches are wracked by ""worship wars"" (controversies concerning the complex relation between music and devotion). Here in Susan Brown's book is a history of the early modern relation between these two deep realities that can help us find a way of the discordant sounds of war and into the healing and beautiful sounds of music.'
-- Frederick Dale Bruner, Adjunct Professor, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary.
'While the Christian story was inculcated visually in the Middle Ages, the vernacular proclamation, singing, and reading of Scripture created a radically new soundscape. Drawing together various disciplines for her conclusions in this book, Susan Tara Brown has further undermined the usual contrast of anti-aesthetic Protestantism and an artistically rich Catholicism. Specialists will put this book in their required reading lists and informed lay people will be captivated by the way Brown's narrative opens up this important era.'
-- Michael Horton, Professor of Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation Magazine
'England's Reformers, Anglican generally and Puritans in particular through the seventeeth century, valued sacred song as a devotional mountaintop. Dr. Brown has written a masterful exploration of the theology, psychology and spirituality which that estimate expressed.'
-- James I. Packer, Regent College
Susan Tara Brown is a musicologist on the faculty of Fullerton College.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The State of Singing in England c. 1575-1710 9
Chapter 2 Applying the Word 23
The Word 24
The Word in Literature 30
The Word Sung 33
The Personalized Voice 40
Three Examples from the Literature: Hall, Wither, and Bunyan 50
Chapter 3 Sounding the Inner Landscape 57
Background: Music and the Motions of the Soul 57
The Case of Vocal Music 59
'Me thinks I should see his soul ready to fly out of his mouth in an heavenly ravishment': The Verbal Orientation of Early English Protestantism 62
The Anatomy of the Soul 70
Anglican and Puritan Methods of Meditation 72
The Role of Reason 77
The Role of Imagination 80
The Role of the Affections 83
The Voice in Active Contemplation 90
Chapter 4 'This Sacred Sensualitie' 95
Aesthetic Principles 100
Sensory Allusions within the Literature 105
Baxter contra Augustine 108
Reading the Creatures 114
Chapter 5 Through the Gates of Paradise 117
Singing and the Christian Duties 117
'An Entrance into Glory' 120