Does music enrich spirituality? University of Winchester Study Day explores interactions between music and spirituality

28 Oct 2016
News Placeholder Master

A Study Day hosted by the Tavener Centre for Music and Spirituality at the University of Winchester on 11 November is set to explore how music and spirituality can contribute to a richer understanding of the complexity of life and culture. 

Many of the former certainties of traditional religions have slipped away, but there is a search for the spiritual and music is seen as an important source of spiritual insight in contemporary post-secular society.
 
A Study Day hosted by the Tavener Centre for Music and Spirituality at the University of Winchester on 11 November is set to explore how music and spirituality can contribute to a richer understanding of the complexity of life and culture.
 
The programme includes talks and performances covering topics such as Sir John Tavener's music, music and ecstasy, music and stillness, music and cosmos and jazz. Practitioners from disciplines including music, theology, religious studies are taking part, as well as clergy and leaders of music in liturgical settings. 
 
The Study Day also marks the launch of a new book by The Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman MBE, Professor of Applied Music and Director of the newly-formed Tavener Centre for Music and Spirituality. From explorations of the subject across various continents, including North America, South Africa and Asia, Experiencing Music-Restoring the Spiritual: Music as Wellbeing (Peter Lang Oxford, 2016) includes a variety of activities and discussions to help participants to understand the place of music in their own lives and beyond.
 
The Tavener Centre for Music and Spirituality is dedicated to exploring relationships between music and spirituality in the contemporary world, through study days, performances and publications.
 
This research centre was conceived after the death of British composer Sir John Tavener in November 2013 following discussions between the former Dean of Winchester Cathedral The Very Reverend James Atwell, The Reverend Professor Boyce-Tillman, Andrew Lumsden, Organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral, and Lady Tavener. 
 
Sir John was known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Protecting VeilSong for Athene and The Lamb. His creative relationship with Winchester Cathedral and its choir was established in the 1970s and continues to this day. His link with the University of Winchester was established in 2007 when the University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate.
 
"I am excited by new insights and understandings in this area that the work of the Centre is seeking to unearth, which are crucial to revitalising the lives of many people living in Western culture," says The Reverend Professor Boyce-Tillman, encouraging people to engage with the work of the Centre.
 
"I hope that the Centre's research will examine how music can provide a sense of companionship and belonging that have been characteristics of religious belief and how music can take us to a different space/time dimension which is potentially transformative. It will also explore how music enriches various religious traditions, as in some of the already published books in the Music and Spirituality series, and how religious music serves the secular world. Some of the papers presented at the Study Day will launch research in these areas."
 
After the event on 11 November, there will be a special Tavener Evensong in Winchester Cathedral to which all are welcome, followed by the unveiling of a memorial to Sir John for invited guests. 
 
The Tavener Centre for Music and Spirituality Music and Spirituality Study Day takes place on Friday 11 November between 10am and 4.30pm at the University of Winchester's King Alfred Campus, Winchester SO22 4NR.
 
The event is open to participants from academic and non-academic backgrounds. Tickets are available at a cost of £35. To book, visit: www.winchester.ac.uk/tavener
 
For further information please contact Maureen.Cheong@winchester.ac.uk​
 
Ends
 

Press Office  |  +44 (0) 1962 827678  |  press@winchester.ac.uk

 
Back to media centre