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A New Song for an Old World
Musical Thought in the Early Church
POD; Published: 12/18/2006
ISBN: 978-0-8028-3219-1
Price: $ 25.50
246 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies (CICW)

Even as worship wars in the church and music controversies in society at large continue to rage, many people do not realize that conflict over music goes back to the earliest Christians as they sought to live out the "new song" of their faith. In A New Song for an Old World Calvin Stapert challenges contemporary Christians to learn from the wisdom of the early church in the area of music.

Stapert draws parallels between the pagan cultures of the early Christian era and our own multicultural realities, enabling readers to comprehend the musical ideas of early Christian thinkers, from Clement and Tertullian to John Chrysostom and Augustine. Stapert's expert treatment of the attitudes of the early church toward psalms and hymns on the one hand, and pagan music on the other, is ideal for scholars of early Christianity, church musicians, and all Christians seeking an ancient yet relevant perspective on music in their worship and lives today.
Mark Hijleh
— President, Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers
"A fresh, useful study that draws together several disparate streams of traditional thought and finds golden nuggets buried in unlikely places. Writing from a perspective that wisely celebrates Christian artistic emancipation from Enlightenment domination, Stapert sensitively explores early-church views on the relationship between music as redeemed gift and music as fallen hindrance — music as spiritually substantive rather than merely personally preferential. This is essential reading not only for those involved in worship arts but also for Christians active in all areas of musical life who seek a more balanced perspective on the relationship between the spiritual and the aesthetic.' "