As part of the 2019 Musica Sacra Festival in Maastricht, the University of Groningen’s Centre for Religion and Heritage is hosting an international symposium on music and religious exile on Thursday, September 19. Speakers from the USA, across Europe, and the Netherlands and performances by both local and international musicians will explore how religious music is adopted and adapted to preserve and to forge new identites in the midst of dislocation, exile, flight, and social ad political change.
The opening key-note speaker, David Stowe (Michigan State University) explores how Psalm 137 ('By the Waters of Babylon') has been a resource of resistance and protest – from the American Revolution to Boney M’s disco classic. The symposium closes with a concert lecture entitled 'Beethoven and Loving our Neighbour' by Mathew George and Mark Kus. They are representing Music for Life International (New York), which organizes concerts and related events to promote the awareness of significant international humanitarian crises around the world.
In between topics range from Gregorian chant to Moroccan Anashid artists finding new audiences in contemporary Europe, from the Dutch adoption and adaptation of the French protestant translation of the Psalter in the 16th century, to Ghanaian evangelical Christian music in Amsterdam. Musical performances by Schola Maastricht, Kamerkoor Maastricht, and the group Shishani Vranckx and Friends are an integral part of the programme and reflect the symposium’s themes.
The Centre for Religion and Heritage works to promote scholarly exchange, to advise external stakeholders, and to engage in public outreach work in the topical and contested field of religious heritage. Through its Masters programme in Religion and Heritage it trains future professionals to contribute to and to lead critical reflection on intangible and material religious heritage in a diverse and constantly changing world.
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