The Music of Creation.

Author:L. Nessan, Craig
Position:Book review
 
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The Music of Creation (with CD). By Arthur Peacocke and Ann Pederson. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006. 107 pages. Paper. $20.

This well-conceived project employs music as a metaphor rot "God's continuous creative activity arid presence." A CD with 22 musical tracks accompanies the short chapters to illustrate the correspondence between aspects of Christian thought and music. The primary focus is on the First Article, relating musical compositions to God's work of creation.

The musical selections range from Haydn's The Creation to Ellington's "C Jam Blues" to Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. The text explores such topics as the relationship of creation and time, created goodness, and creative process, including tension and resolution. Analogies are drawn between Christian thought and musical themes, such as harmony, polyphony, and dissonance. The Christian life is portrayed as a kind of improvisation, "grace under pressure," like the performance of jazz or blues. The comparisons between jazz and the religious life (for example, the role of collaboration in an ensemble) are particularly insightful. The book concludes by...

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