Sacred Music in Secular Society

Sacred Music in Secular Society

By: Jonathan Arnold (author)Hardback

1 - 2 weeks availability


If music has ever given you 'a glimpse of something beyond the horizons of our materialism or our contemporary values' (James MacMillan), then you will find this book essential reading. Sacred Music in Secular Society is a new and challenging work asking why Christian sacred music is now appealing afresh to a wide and varied audience, both religious and secular. Jonathan Arnold offers unique insights as a professional singer of sacred music in liturgical and concert settings worldwide, as an ordained Anglican priest and as a senior research fellow. Blending scholarship, theological reflection and interviews with some of the greatest musicians and spiritual leaders of our day, including James MacMillan and Rowan Williams, Arnold suggests that the intrinsically theological and spiritual nature of sacred music remains an immense attraction particularly in secular society. Intended by the composer and inspired by religious intentions this theological and spiritual heart reflects our inherent need to express our humanity and search for the mystical or the transcendent. Offering a unique examination of the relationship between sacred music and secular society, this book will appeal to readers interested in contemporary spirituality, Christianity, music, worship, faith and society, whether believers or not, including theologians, musicians and sociologists.

Create a review

About Author

Jonathan Arnold is Chaplain and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, holds a Ph.D. from King's College, London and is author of Dean John Colet of St. Paul's: Humanism and Reform in Early Tudor England (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007) and The Great Humanists: An Introduction (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011). He is a former member of St. Paul's Cathedral Choir and has performed as a soloist with many leading British and European orchestras and has sung with many fine vocal ensembles, including The Tallis Scholars and Polyphony. He was a regular member of The Sixteen for many years, travelling all over the world and appearing on many recordings and broadcasts.


Contents: Preface; Introduction; Part I The Practice of Sacred Music: Composers - midwives of faith; The performers I: within the context of religious worship; The performers II: outside the context of religious worship. Part II The Reception of Sacred Music: Who is listening?; Sacred music: culture and society; What is the future of sacred music?; Conclusion; Select bibliography; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/02/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781409451709
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 188
  • ID: 9781409451709
  • weight: 494
  • ISBN10: 1409451704

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly