Prelude: Performing Theology, Forming Identity and Shaping Experience: Christian Congregational Music in Europe and North America
This chapter discusses a reconstructive enterprise, an attempt, tenuous in places, granted to suggest some new and potentially illuminating connections between ecclesial polity and jazz music. It explains the connections between a certain kind of jazz and the cadences and timbre of Anglican ecclesial polity, using jazz as a metaphor, to explore a kind of 'morphological mood'. Jazz is a genre of music that is normally associated with both freedom of expression and a lesser degree of formality; where improvisation and composition meet. In terms of the metaphor of jazz in relation to Anglican spirituality, these observations are important for several reasons. Anglican spirituality is not about being liberal, conservative, or even somewhere in the middle. It is about knowing your place before God, and being directionally passionate for the possibility of the kingdom. As Anglican spirituality frequently testifies, the kingdom will not be known for moderation, but for liberation.