The Bible in Music

The Bible in Music: A Dictionary of Songs, Works and More

The Bible in Music: A Dictionary of Songs, Works and More by Dr. Siobhán Dowling Long and Professor Emeritus John F.A. Sawyer is the first book of its type, and lists the music and musicians from plainchant to Lady Gaga who have referenced the Bible in their lyrics. The book also shows how the Bible, the best-selling book of all time, is open to multiple interpretations and how down through the ages it has been appropriated, subverted, sanitized to further the political agendas and religious beliefs of certain people.

Music has played a major role in teaching people of faith and none about the Bible, its characters, stories, and sayings, as well as keeping it alive in individual and collective imaginations.  For example, the Bible is at the heart of music for the FA Cup Final at Wembley (Abide with Me), the English Rugby Union (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot), international dance productions (Lord of the Dance), film music (Fifty Shades of Grey; Home Alone II; The Empire Strikes Back; Shrek), musicals (Jesus Christ Superstar; Godspell) and in music heard on the radio, in supermarkets, and elsewhere (Judas by Lady Gaga; Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen).

The Bible in Music won first prize in the USA 2016 International Book Award in the category “Religion: General”.  It also received a "recommendation" from the influential American Library Association publication Choice (Current Reviews for Academic Libraries). The book is published by Rowman & Littlefield and is available from Amazon, Waterstones, and all good bookshops. It is also available as an e-book from itunes.

Dr Siobhán Dowling Long, UCC is a musicologist, musician and educationalist known primarily for her work on the reception of the Bible in music.  Emeritus Professor John F. A. Sawyer is a Scottish biblical scholar best known for his works on Isaiah, and reception history of the Bible. Click here to access Dr. Dowling Long's research and teaching profile at UCC.

RTE Radio 1's 'Arena' Show on 31st October 2016 focused on the book - The Bible in Music. Alongside Dr. Dowling Long, the panel included Nóirín Ní Riain and Peter Murphy (author/musician). Music taken from the book itself was played during the show. Click here to link to RTE Radio 1's podcast of the 31st of October show.

The Bible in Music, published 2016

The Bible in Music, published 2016

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