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Resounding Transcendence is a pathbreaking set of ethnographic and historical essays by leading scholars exploring the ways sacred music effects cultural, political, and religious transitions in the contemporary world. With chapters covering Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist practices in East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, North America, the Caribbean, North Africa, and Europe, the volume establishes the theoretical and methodological foundations for music scholarship to engage in current debates about modern religion and secular epistemologies. It also transforms those debates through sophisticated, nuanced treatments of sound and music - ubiquitous elements of ritual and religion often glossed over in other disciplines.
Resounding Transcendence confronts the relationship of sound, divinity, and religious practice in diverse post-secular contexts. By examining the immanence of transcendence in specific social and historical contexts and rethinking the reified nature of "religion" and "world religions," these authors examine the dynamics of difference and transition within and between sacred musical practices. The work in this volume transitions between traditional spaces of sacred musical practice and emerging public spaces for popular religious performance; between the transformative experience of ritual and the sacred musical affordances of media technologies; between the charisma of individual performers and the power of the marketplace; and between the making of authenticity and hybridity in religious repertoires and practices. Broad in scope, rich in ethnographic and historical detail, and theoretically ambitious, Resounding Transcendence is an essential contribution to the study of music and religion.
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