The interrelationship of music and theology is a burgeoning area of scholarship in which conceptual issues have been explored by musicologists and theologians including Jeremy Begbie, Quentin Faulkner and Jon Michael Spencer. Their important work has opened up opportunities for focussed, critical studies of the ways in which music and theology can be seen to interact in specific repertoires, genres, and institutions as well as the work of particular composers, religious leaders and scholars. This collection of essays explores such areas in relation to the religious, musical and social history of nineteenth-century Britain. The book does not simply present a history of sacred music of the period, but examines the role of music in the diverse religious life of a century that encompassed the Oxford Movement, Catholic Emancipation, religious revivals involving many different denominations, the production of several landmark hymnals and greater legal recognition for religions other than Christianity. The book therefore provides a valuable guide to the music of this complex historical period.
'This necessarily brief review cannot do justice to the consistent quality and wide ranging variety of learning displayed in this book. It is something of a milestone in our understanding of Victorian religious music.' Nicholas Temperley, North American British Music Studies Association '... the standard is consistently high... a rewarding collection of essays on an important subject...' British Institute of Organ Studies 'Music and Theology in Nineteenth-Century Britain is a fascinating [...] foray into notions of Victorian spirituality and musicianship. Topics are diverse and thought-provoking... [the book has] immense value... Recommended.' Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians '... the book is strongly coherent - not merely in its six essays devoted to different aspects of British hymnody, but also in its exploration of the myriad ways that music and religion interact. ... The topic is a protean one and this book points the way forward for future scholars to explore this fundamental subject.' Notes 'Clarke's diverse collection should include something for anyone with an interest in either Victorian theology or music.' Anglican and Episcopal History 'These [eleven] essays cover a gamut of Victorian religious experience and, by doing so, call attention to the diversity of attitudes to faith and their musical treatment in the Victorian age.’ Victorian Studies