9. Music as Spiritual Experience
The Study of Religious Experience - Approaches and Methodologies - Bettina E. Schmidt
University of Winchester
This chapter will examine the development of the area of spirituality over the twentieth century and especially last twenty years. It will chart the origin of the term in Nietzsche’s assertion of the death of God through the development of a perennial philosophy and common core to spiritual experience. It will interrogate the complexity of the interrelationship between religion and spirituality and how the interface between these and culture challenges the sacred and secular divide. It draws on this history to list the characteristics of the spiritual experience grouping these under headings - Metaphysical, Narrative, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, InterGaian and Extrapersonal. It sees the qualities as being subjugated within western culture and examines their place in philosophies of the arts (drawing on Dewey, Turner, Beattie and DeBotton). It will interrogate the fluid nature of the metaphysical and the uncoupling of this from the narratives of the great faiths, offering the possibility of a religionless spirituality that is reflected in music. Finally it sees the development of a model that seeks to embraces these and gives a deeper understanding of the relationship between music and spirituality. The chapter will be illustrated by accounts of the spiritual experience that involve music. .