Liberating language and concepts of the divine in contemporary hymnody

June Boyce-Tillman

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Abstract

The background to this article is debates around spiritual but not religious (Boyce-Tillman 2016), multi faith dialogue (Boyce-Tillman 2003) and post secularisation. It will examine these in relation to arguments of feminist theologians (Grey 1993, Stuart 1996, Isherwood and Stuart 1998, Fiorenza 2000, McEwan et al 2001, Neu 2003, Wootton 2000, Boyce-Tillman 2014) towards feminine images for the Divine. It will use examples from woman writers (Berger 1999) and draw on the author’s experience of revising her own hymns for a variety of contexts. Its objectives are to interrogate and analyse the words used for the Divine in contemporary contexts in a concern for an inclusive language approach to God. It will interrogate how far these images will be acceptable in secular contexts especially in secular rituals that include people from a variety of belief backgrounds in a post secular world. It will examine this from an auto ethnographic perspective (Boyce-Tillman 2006) through analysing the author’s journey through the language of hymnody (Wren 1989) and its development over the last 25 years through the period of secularisation and post secularisation (Carrette 2000). The results will be the description of a variety of approaches to the Christian narrative in contemporary UK – devotional, cultural and storying – examining the language appropriate for these various approaches and various contexts. It will conclude that there is a changing range of descriptors for the Divine varying in different contexts. INTERDISCIPLINARITY Hymnology crosses the disciplines of music, theology, liturgy and ritual (sacred and secular) and has implications for all these areas, especially Church liturgy and sacred music in secular contexts. It is lyrical theology which spans the arts and theology and expresses theological ideas in an artistic form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalVerbum et Ecclesia
Volume38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Post-secularisation
  • hymnody
  • the Divine
  • auto ethnography
  • spirituality

Cite this

Boyce-Tillman, June. / Liberating language and concepts of the divine in contemporary hymnody. 2017 ; Vol. 38, No. 2. pp. 1-9.
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Boyce-Tillman, J 2017, 'Liberating language and concepts of the divine in contemporary hymnody' vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 1-9.

Liberating language and concepts of the divine in contemporary hymnody. / Boyce-Tillman, June.

Vol. 38, No. 2, 30.11.2017, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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