The Witness of Praise-The Hope of Dwelling

Book Section

Praise has long been identified as a linguistic and musical form that is a response to the goodness and beauty of creaturely life. More generally, it reflects forms of life that seek to participate in God’s creative, nurturing, and reconciling ways with the world. In Western modernity, however, praise is rendered difficult and more tenuous because people find it hard to perceive and engage with the world as God’s creative realm. It is, instead, reduced to a brute material realm devoid of purpose or sanctity. The muting of praise is reflected in modern musical forms, but also in changes in the built environment. After describing the logic of praise, this essay argues that the action of praising God is much more than a personal, pious gesture. It is also a primary and practical way of being that communicates a desire to dwell in the world in ways that honour creatures and their creator. Understood this way, praise mobilizes worship and world-making at the same time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wirzba, N

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Book Title

  • Theology, Music, and Modernity: Struggles for Freedom

Start / End Page

  • 336 - 357

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780198846550

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/oso/9780198846550.003.0016

Citation Source

  • Scopus