Music, Emotion, and Worship: Is There Anything to Fear?


Jeremy Begbie


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In today’s culture, more than ever before, music is used to move us emotionally - on TV and in movies, shopping malls and restaurants. From the ancient Greeks to the r ecent Taliban regime, many have feared this profound power of music. In the Christian Church the anxiety has often been intense, especially in worship where music plays such a prominent role, and where some suspect they are being manipulated. Using perfor mance, slides and recorded music, Jeremy Begbie, noted author, professor and associate director of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at St. Mary’s College of St. Andrews University in Scotland, asks, “In worship, what, if an ything, have we to fear from music’s emotional power?”

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