Singing the Right Way: Orthodox Christians and Secular Enchantment in Estonia

Singing the Right Way: Orthodox Christians and Secular Enchantment in Estonia

by Jeffers Engelhardt


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Singing the Right Way enters the world of Orthodox Christianity in Estonia to explore musical style in worship, cultural identity, and social imagination. Through both ethnographic and historical chapters, author Jeffers Engelhardt reveals how Orthodox Estonians give voice to the religious absolute in secular society. Based on a decade of fieldwork, Singing the Right Way traces the sounds of Orthodoxy in Estonia through the Russian Empire, interwar national independence, the Soviet-era, and post-Soviet integration into the European Union. Approaching Orthodoxy through local understandings of correct practice and correct belief, Engelhardt shows how religious knowledge, national identity, and social transformation illuminate how to "sing the right way" and thereby realize the fullness of Estonians' Orthodox Christian faith in context of everyday, secular surroundings. Singing the Right Way is an innovative model of how the musical poetics of contemporary religious forms are rooted in both consistent sacred tradition and contingent secular experience. This landmark study is sure to be an essential text for scholars studying the ethnomusicology of religion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199332137
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/02/2014
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jeffers Engelhardt is an Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Oberlin College, his research deals broadly with music, religion, European identity, and media. His second book, a co-edited volume titled Resounding Transcendence: Transitions in Music, Religion, and Ritual, will also be published by Oxford University Press.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
About the Companion Website
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Part 1
Chapter 1 - Orthodoxy in Estonia, Estonian Orthodoxy
Chapter 2 - Right Singing: The Voice of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy
Chapter 3 - "Today is an important day here, the birthday of our own religion": Festivity and the Secular Enchantments of Right Singing

Part 2
Chapter 4 - "Every bird has its own song": Congregational Singing and the Making of
Estonian Orthodoxy
Chapter 5 - Songs of Commemoration and Continuity

Part 3
Chapter 6 - "Life is so simple to live when the corridor you are to walk down has already been made": Byzantification and Conversion at the Cathedral of Saint Simeon and the Prophetess Hanna
Chapter 7 - "We are people of the country, but we worship and Russian-type God":
Singing the Right Way in Setomaa



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