I was delighted to read the article below in the National Catholic Reporter. It expressed views that have intrigued me for a long time. I have often thought that the point of great music was to inspire the heart and mind, to enjoy, to relax, to celebrate, to commiserate and so on.
Music can also be described in a scientific way too. I’m no physicist, but I can imagine we can
speak of vibrations of a segmented string of length x, lasting a duration of x
seconds and of a specific volume and so on, until each note has been laboriously
analyzed from a scientific perspective. Who could possibly appreciate reading
the scientific description over and above listening to the piece as its
It strikes me that in the light of this analogy, there are many who approach
religion in a similar ways. Some analyze
to the nth degree, others sit back and celebrate. Depending which particular person you are I
guess you’ll either understand what I’m getting or think I’m a nutter !
Enjoy the Bach . . . .
Meanwhile here’s the beginning of the NCR article
Religion is less a code of doctrines and teachings than a sensitivity to
the "dimensions of transcendence" that underlie the human experience,
the head of Pope Francis' Jesuit order said Friday.
Likening the religious experience to a person who can appreciate the
intricacies and variations of classical music, Jesuit Fr. Adolfo Nicolás said
"religion is first of all very much more like this musical sense than a
rational system of teachings and explanations."
"Religion involves first of all a sensitivity to, an openness to, the
dimensions of transcendence, of depth, of gratuity, of beauty that underlie our
human experiences," Nicolás said. "But of course, this is a
sensitivity that is threatened today by a purely economic or materialist
mindset which deadens this sensitivity to deeper dimension of reality."
Continue reading here