Saturday, September 11, 2004


From The Guardian newspaper - a report and comment on a new SCM Press book by Ian Bradley, Reader in Practical Theology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

"Churches have a great deal to learn from modern musicals and could usefully incorporate in their services the spiritual themes and the pastoral care they offer their audiences, a new book argues.

"Ian Bradley argues in the book 'You've Got to Have a Dream', to be published next month [October 2004], that musicals like 'Les Misérables' and 'The Rocky Horror Show', not to mention more likely candidates such as 'The Sound of Music' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar', now form a more common means for people to gain their philosophy of life and spiritual and theological perspectives than attending church.

"The book argues: 'One of the main reasons why musicals connect so powerfully with so many people is that they appeal to all the senses and offer a total, rather than just a one-dimensional, experience. They gain their impact through being performed. The same is surely true of religion.'
"Mr Bradley points out that musicals as a theatrical form have northern European and Jewish roots rather than stemming from the light operettas of Catholic southern Europe." More.

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