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Table of Contents

Contents: The desert in the desert; A short prelude to music and spirituality; Stories; New spiritual music; Between heaven and earth; Sirens; Language, spirituality, music; Wanderings; The abyss; Silence; Listening to music; Para-spirituality; The bridge and the laugh; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr Marcel Cobussen, Assistant Professor of Music Philosophy and Cultural Theory, Leiden University, The Netherlands


'In his book, Cobussen locates the meaningfulness of music and the experience of spirituality at "thresholds": liminal sites that reside just beyond our verbal grasp. He composes his text with great delicacy, as if it were itself a piece of music or a spiritual meditation. A beautiful, haunting book.' Susan McClary, UCLA International Institute, USA 'How, Marcel Cobussen asks in this unusual and invigorating book, do we dare still speak of spirituality and music?' The answers he provides form the first comprehensive effort to think through this challenging but strangely neglected topic. The writing is rich, the intellectual canvas is broad, and the arguments break with virtually all conventional wisdom about both spirituality and music. Cobussen boldly seeks to perform as well as describe a spirituality he locates in a relationship to otherness on a threshold that cannot be mastered or ritualized. His is a book that practices what it preaches.' Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University, USA 'This work opens a space in which spirituality can be connected to music that is not commonly considered in this light, thereby enriching the ways of approaching and discussing music.' Studies in Spirituality 'Marcel Cobussen's book poses some crucial and probing questions concerning the relationship between music and spirituality. ... In Thresholds, Marcel Cobussen combines a sometimes dazzling array of literary, philosophical, and personal references, and challenges the reader to reimagine the mystery and transcendence of the spiritual: evoked though music, it becomes paradoxical, ambulating, there and not there.' Notes 'Thresholds not only opens up spaces for thought, it also promotes many questions about music and spirituality that will undoubtedly be explored by scholars in years to come.' Music and Letters

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