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  • Writer's pictureJohn Stackhouse

Music at Regent this Summer: Wow

Two courses this summer featuring two of the world’s experts on a Christian understanding of music. I’m not exaggerating (as, of course, I never, ever do): These scholars are as good as they come. So if you want to think more deeply and interestingly about music in particular, as well as the arts in general, get on over here:

At the beginning of our spring school (MAY 26-30), we welcome back the inimitable Jeremy Begbie to help us in  Fostering a Scriptural Imagination for the Arts.

Jeremy knows some stuff about this. He serves as the Thomas A. Langford Professor of Theology at the Duke Divinity School, having earned one or two degrees and honours along the way: BA (University of Edinburgh), BD (University of Aberdeen), PhD (University of Aberdeen), ARCM (Royal College of Music), LRAM (Royal Academy of Music), FRSCM.

At Duke he is the founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts, teaches systematic theology, and specializes in the interface between theology and the arts. His particular research interest is the interplay between…yes…music and theology.

Other people like Jeremy, too. He is Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. Previously he has been Associate Principal at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews where he directed the research project, Theology Through the Arts, at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts.

He is the author of a number of books and his next book, Music, Modernity and God, is scheduled for publication by Oxford University Press in early 2014. (Well, don’t be too impressed by the Oxford Press thing: They’ll apparently publish anybody these days. But the other credentials seem sound enough….)

Jeremy has taught widely in the UK and North America, and delivered multimedia performance-lectures across the world, from Israel to Australia and Hong Kong. So, yes, you should come meet him here.

Toward the end of our summer school (JULY 21-25), we welcome for the first time one of the most intellectually interesting people I’ve ever met, Daniel Chua.

Outside scholarly circles, Daniel isn’t well known…yet. He studied music at Cambridge University as an undergraduate at St. Catharine’s College and then for his PhD at St. John’s College. His work on The “Galitzin” Quartets of Beethoven was published by Princeton University Press in 1995. After a year as a Henry Fellow at Harvard, he returned to St. John’s as a Research Fellow and later became the Director of Studies in Music there. During this time he worked on his second, more historically orientated, book, Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning (published by Cambridge in 1999). This book is one of the most intellectually impressive works I have read in the last decade, a tour de force of postmodern close reading (of both music and written texts), intellectual and cultural history, and both philosophical and artistic sensitivity.

Before joining The University of Hong Kong as Head of the School of Humanities and Professor of Music, he was the Professor of Music Theory and Analysis at King’s College London. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Royal Musical Association Dent Medal in 2004. Although mostly known as a Beethoven scholar, Chua’s research is diverse, ranging from Monteverdi to Stravinsky. It is, however, consistent in as much as it focuses on music’s social and ideological meaning. To elicit these meanings, his work combines music analysis and music history with theories from other disciplines (literary theory, critical theory, continental philosophy, history of science, etc.). He is currently working on the ethics of freedom in the music of Beethoven. He is also an editor of Music & Letters.

Daniel is a lucid, dynamic, and persuasive lecturer. His course on The Theological Implications of Western Music promises to revolutionize your appreciation of the western musical canon, and beyond. One week…and you’ll listen to music differently, and better, the rest of your life. How can you not come?

Lots of people can vouch for Jeremy, and there’s no doubt he’ll be terrific. Trust me on Daniel: Frankly, I’m going to try to sit in on this course myself.

Find your Way here!

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