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Call for Proposals

This Consultation invites papers on the religious and theological dimensions of music, particularly bringing theoretical, methodological, or philosophical approaches to bear on the study of musical phenomena. Our central themes are as follows:

  • Music of the American West — blues, folk, avant-garde jazz, psychedelic music, and the 1960s musical-spiritual explosion
  • Music, trance, and mysticism (for a possible cosponsored session with the Mysticism Group)
  • Christian sacred music, past and present — the evolving nature of the liturgical function of music in light of changing theological/creedal commitments
  • Tradition and creativity
  • Postcolonial approaches to religion and music
  • The “sacred/profane” in music (Eliade)
  • Music, trauma, and healing
  • Music in theological aesthetics


The discipline of religious studies is expanding beyond linguistic rationality to include the importance of musical phenomena in the development of healthy religious communities and religious consciousnesses. Meanwhile, theological aesthetics is moving beyond the textual to include music as a resource in its own right for constructive and transformative meaning-making. Music, religiously speaking, is no mere adjunct to the study of sacred space, ritual, visual art, liturgy, or philosophical aesthetics; rather, it is a distinct field in its own right with its own particular content, methods, and norms. By placing the relationship between music and religion at the center of our endeavor, we seek to serve scholars who operate out of this ubiquitous, but ironically underrepresented, realm of academic pursuit within the guild.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposer names are visible to Chairs but anonymous to Steering Committee Members.


Philip Stoltzfus
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
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Theodore Trost
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
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Method of Submission


This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.