In "Sacred Song in America," Stephen A. Marini explores
the full range of American sacred music and demonstrates how the
meanings and functions of this musical expression can contribute to
a greater understanding of religious culture. Marini examines the
role of sacred song across the United States, from the musical
traditions of Native Americans and the Hispanic peoples of the
Southwest, to the Sacred Harp singers of the rural South and the
Jewish music revival to the music of the Mormon, Catholic, and
Black churches. Including chapters on New Age and Neo-Pagan music,
gospel music, and hymnals as well as interviews with iconic
composers of religious music, "Sacred Song in America"
pursues a historical, musicological, and theoretical inquiry into
the complex roles of ritual music in the public religious culture
of contemporary America.
"The breadth of Marini's study is staggering... [A] solid contribution to the all-too sparse number of works that recognize the rich contribution of American sacred music." Journal of Southern Religion "A deeply reflective text, layered with multiple literary and musical references... An excellent text for the classroom." Journal of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion "A wealth of information as well as readable, thought provoking interpretations... Marini has produced a volume of value for those interested in American religion and music as well as for specialists in cultural history." Theology Today "This unusually fine and important book has no parallel. I know of no other book on American religious music with as wide a sweep. As a historian of American religion, and as a student and practitioner of sacred music, Marini is simply and utterly unique." Harvey Cox, Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School and the author of The Secular City and Fire from Heaven "Enlightening, well informed, and sophisticated. I know of nothing like it." Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History