Church Music and Hymnography in Ecumenical Context


CALL FOR PAPERS: Church Music and Hymnography in Ecumenical Context

Studia Oecumenica 12, Presa Universitară Clujeană, 2017

Throughout the last decades various studies have maintained that music is an universal spiritual language. Human beings sing and write poetry in order to express the ineffable that is impossible to capture discursively. The realities revealed through poetry and music are thought to transcend the confines of dogmas and definitions. This is why recent ecumenical efforts have placed a lot of weight on liturgical encounters, on singing communally, on finding an inter-confessional, shared repertoire. Whilst important steps in this direction were taken by Catholics and Protestants through shared hymn books or places such as Taizé, signs of a true ‘singing Oikumene’, it seems that a common repertoire with the Orthodox world is more difficult to find.

In this volume we would like to focus on the differences between western Church music, which is preponderantly polyphonic and instrumental, and the Byzantine manner, monodic and exclusively choral, of Orthodox music.

To this end, we intend the following questions as catalyst for authors: is it possible to arrive at a hierarchy of musical expression in Christianity? How closely does form have to be adhered for the preservation of the spirit? Are these distinctions fundamental, or merely cultural? Is there confession-specific music? If liturgical texts can be translated faithfully, can hymns be sung in the Byzantine manner within a western community, and vice versa? What are the implications of this phenomenon? Can we continue to sing centuryold hymns in a post-modern world? If a certain degree of education is necessary for the enjoyment of venerable hymns, what do those who support traditional music in the Church think of the idea of mission? If we think of the Christian mission amongst nations which have no connection with the traditional Christian space, what kind of music will be used for service? The submitted articles will be translated into Romanian. Deadline: 1. Septembrie 2017 Email: Alexandru Ioniță, Centrul de Cerecetare Ecumenică, ULBS