Bach Among the Theologians

By Jaroslav Pelikan

Bach Among the Theologians

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  • ISBN: 9781597522779
  • Pages: 172
  • Publication Date: 11/6/2003
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00

Bach Among the Theologians

By Jaroslav Pelikan

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781597522779
  • Pages: 172
  • Publication Date: 11/6/2003
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00

About-

This superb and enduring contribution to the Johann Sebastian Bach tricentennial focuses on Bach's vocation as a musician of the church and on his work as a theologian. Although Bach is most often remembered for his music, Jaroslav Pelikan here reminds us of the message of Bach's works and of his understanding and devotion to his vocation within the church.

By relating Bach's work to the heritage of the Lutheran Reformation -- musical as well as theological -- Pelikan places Bach within the context of the theological currents of his time. Maintaining that the Reformation heritage provides the underlying thematic and religious inspiration for Bach's work, Pelikan delves into three main movements within Lutheran theology of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a framework for understanding Bach. He also demonstrates how Bach's sacred music complements and illustrates these theological trends.

In the second portion of the book, Pelikan examines the theological motifs that are reflected in the texts Bach used and in the settings he provided for these texts. The author points to Bach's particular interest in the meaning of the cross, and to redemption and atonement through the death and resurrection of Christ. He notes the centrality of the 'Passions' in Bach's lifework and their importance for the history of the doctrine of atonement. 'Bach Among the Theologians' represents a unique inspirational complement to the many works that concentrate primarily on the composer's personal or secular life.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"This book clearly demonstrates Professor Pelikan's keen interest in music and his command of the subtleties of its theological implications. Bach Among the Theologians is worthy of being made required reading for any serious performer of that master's music."
--Richard Westenburg, Founder and Music
Director, Musica Sacra Head, Cathedral
Church of St. John the Divine

"Pelikan, a distinguished humanist who knows how to interrelate as well as integrate theological, historical, and musical viewpoints, now presents us with an exciting and authoritative discussion of Bach in the context of the theology of his time. No doubt, reading this book will help sharpen our ears to hear and understand better the decisive undertones of Bach's music."
--Christoph Wolff, Professor of Music,
Harvard University

"Jaroslav Pelikan, a commanding and perceptive historian of Christian institutions and thinking, reveals to us first of all Bach's own intellective, philosophical, and theological environment. Second, through an affectionate and wide-ranging familiarity with his works, he shows us the influence upon Bach's basic and pervasive Lutheran orthodoxy of the strong contemporary currents of a 'romanticizing' Pietism and a 'rationalizing' Enlightenment. He does this with fluency, good humor, and a winning absence of missionary zeal. To the performing musician and inadvertent 'Protestant' he presents information which is pertinent, provocative -- and scarcely otherwise obtainable."
--Robert Shaw, Music Director and Conductor,
Atlantic Symphony Orchestra

Contributors-

Jaroslav Pelikan

Bio(s)-

Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He is also the author of 'Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages' and 'Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition'.

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