Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Music and theology (written in 2000)

Music and theology basically deal with human experiences, which involve our whole sphere of life interacting with the world, people, and God. Music is composed, based on a composer’s self-reflections on the world and meaning of life. Theology is not very different. Sad or merry, lucky or unfortunate, mundane or religious, private or public, light or serious events can be expressed, interpreted or reinterpreted by the theologian. In fact, many classic music pieces have been written through the religious spirit. Maybe it would be impossible for us to think of Beethoven and Mozart without religion or theology. Their faith with life stories was expressed through music that delivers messages, feelings, and mysterious sound. Likewise, theology is a response to a life, based on reflections on our lives: happy or sad events, mysterious experiences, inexplicable life moments, etc. A theologian uses religious language, symbols, metaphors, and all forms of story to do theology.


Music and theology is a public act, because they touch on other people. Any music piece or theological work must be played out in public to make effect on the audience. There is responsibility entailing of course. Any theological work should be shared with others so that there might be further theological conversations. Theology must be practiced and rewritten accordingly because there is new discussion and engagement among people. These days I feel a great responsibility that I have to take my theology to the public and listen to other people. My audience is never a silent multitude.