2.4 Components, causes and effects

In this section, I shall say a little more about the shape that we might expect an answer to the ‘What is…?’ question to take. In particular, I would like consider some different claims about the way in which an emotional occurrence is related to other types of occurrence.

Here is a story.

Larry is told by his manager, Bella, that the project that he has been working on for months has been shelved: all his hard work has been wasted. Larry hears Bella telling him the news as
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2.4.1 The theological persepective

If we are thinking about individual perspectives on religion, there are three very common and useful terms we can employ: theism, atheism and agnosticism. In everyday parlance, ‘theism’ denotes a belief in God (or, more broadly, a belief in divine or spiritual realities); ‘atheism’ denotes a conviction that there is no God (or divine or spiritual realities); and ‘agnosticism’ indicates a lack of certainty or knowledge (gnosis) one way or the other. Very broadly speaking, these per
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2.3 Is religion a museum piece?

We have used the video sequence below to highlight the emic/etic problem and we would like you to carry out a short exercise using it to consolidate your understanding of these terms.

The video introduces St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow, which has been described as the first public museum of religion in the world. Do note, however, that the Museum of Religions at the University of Marburg, Germany was founded in 1927 by Rudolf Otto. It contains a considerable number
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1.10 Religion and the individual

How formal or informal, how personal or impersonal, how loose or how tight, how casual or demanding the religious community is will depend on the form of religion, the extent to which it is enforced and the level of the individual's commitment to it. It is worth remembering that just as people have certain expectations of religion, religions tend to have certain expectations of adherents. The sociologists Rodney Stark and Charles Glock (1968) have argued that although religious organizations
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1.5 Differing perspectives

Closely related to representation of religion is the recurring issue of differing perspectives. In talking about perspectives here, we are thinking about how we look at something. We rarely approach anything neutrally – either consciously or subconsciously we tend to adopt a particular perspective – and how we look at something affects what we see. Whenever we make assumptions, we impose them on events, phenomena and other people. This is as true for scholars examining religion as
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1.4 The Victoria and Albert Museum's 'Sacred Spaces' exhibition

Some of these issues of representation were addressed indirectly by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2000, when an exhibition called ‘Sacred Spaces’ was mounted in conjunction with religious communities. The idea was to invite groups from different faith traditions to relate artefacts in the museum to their contemporary religious life. In practice, this had various unforeseen consequences.

The Jewish group photographed some of the objects in the museum, and then photograp
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1.2 Continuity and change

Religions generally go to a great deal of trouble to stress how consistent, how changeless, how solid they are, but change is, in fact, an observable and constant factor in religion. At a personal level, for example, older Catholics who grew up having to eat fish on Friday and ‘knowing’ that cremation was forbidden to them are aware of that. Such ‘unchanging certainties’ have changed a great deal over the years. It is therefore useful to look both at how a religion develops over time
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Acknowledgements

This course was written by Professor Martin Clayton

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4.2 Summary: creating music

Both of these performances clearly belong to traditions where the ‘composer’ and the composer's identified works are rather less important than they are in Western art music. Every performance of Indian or Sundanese music is unique, and yet every performance draws on repertoire and techniques which have been learned. The total repertoire exists not as a set of written works, but in the minds of performing musicians – the music only really exists in performance, and each performance is a
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1.4 Models and building blocks

When any musicians perform they refer to something pre-existent, something we might call a ‘model’ or ‘referent’. For musicians performing written music, the most important of these (although not necessarily the only one) is the score or part from which they perform. Depending on the particular genre and period in question, the performer may have freedom to choose or alter certain parameters (tempo, dynamics, phrasing, in some cases the notes themselves), but the score will indicate,
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1.2 Different perspectives on the creation of music

If a simple division into composition and improvisation is not going to be adequate, particularly when considering music beyond the Western art tradition, then what can we usefully say about the different ways in which music is created? A starting point might be to remind ourselves of the similarities between composition and improvisation. Both the improviser and the composer create music. Both of them, in doing so, draw on a range of skills and experience: their musical training and k
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