Original Research

Sounding salvation: Theological perspectives on music as articulation of life

Johan Cilliers
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 10, No 2 | a97 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v10i2.97 | © 2014 Johan Cilliers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2016 | Published: 30 November 2014

About the author(s)

Johan Cilliers, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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This paper proposes some theological perspectives on the phenomenon of sound (i.e. music), linking it to the gospel of salvation (i.e. well-being). Possible links between sound and music; sound and life; sound and silence; and sound and salvation are indicated. Some differences between the Western and African understandings of sound, music and life are highlighted; followed by suggestions concerning the connections between salvation, well-being, and the healing of life. A theological understanding of music as an expression of transcendence and anticipation is given, profiling it as a distinct form of hope. The paper concludes by comparing two iconic paintings that depict sound: The Scream by Edvard Munch and The Tortured Christ by Guido Rocha.


Sound; music; silence; life


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