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Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Music and HeartEdge


HeartEdge is programming some excellent sessions on music over the next few weeks:

Living God's Future Now conversation - Maggi Dawn
Register for a Zoom invite at

At 6.00 pm (GMT) on Thursday 8 April 2021, Sam Wells and Maggi Dawn will be in conversation to discuss how to improvise on the kingdom.

The Rev’d Professor Maggi Dawn is Principal, St Mary’s College, Durham University and Professor of Theology, Department of Theology and Religion. 

Maggi’s first career was in the music industry as a songwriter, guitarist and singer. She recorded five albums under her own name, and was a session player in numerous other bands. 

Maggi studied Theology at the University of Cambridge in the 1990s, where her PhD research explored S. T. Coleridge’s theological language. Her ongoing research interests are the role of voice and form in the creation of theological meaning, and the role of the arts in theology and liturgy. 

She began her career in academia as college Chaplain and teaching fellow at the University of Cambridge. She has five books in publication, one of which was quoted in Parliament in 2012 to launch a Private Members Bill. Before coming to Durham she spent eight years as Associate Dean, and Associate Professor of Theology and Literature, at Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music.

In the shadow of your wings: Musical Bible study on the Psalms
Thursday 15 April, 4.30 pm (BST).
Register for a Zoom invite at

A unique ecumenical event that combines three new musical interpretations of Psalm 57 with small-group discussion.

An Interactive Online Event Presented by Deus Ex Musica in which participants watch pre-recorded live performances of three brand-new vocal settings of a beloved psalm, each of which has been set to music by a composer representing a different Christian tradition.

This workshop will look at three settings of Psalm 57. After viewing each set of performances, participants engage in moderated small-group discussions. Since the psalm is set to music by more than one composer, participants hear how different musical responses to the same text bring to life various dimensions of each psalm. This provides a unique and memorable way for participants to experience the depth and beauty of Scripture in ways that promote both learning and discipleship. It also provides a rare opportunity for Christians of all stripes to gather in fellowship and dialogue about something we all agree on: the power and importance of the Bible.

No musical experience or expertise is required by any participants.

Deus Ex Musica is an ecumenical organization comprised of musicians, educators, and pastors, and scholars, that promotes the use of sacred music as a resource for learning and spiritual growth.

Jesus Is Just Alright

For over fifty years, pop musicians in all genres have explored the meaning and significance of Jesus in their music. The result is a rich collection of songs that consider important spiritual questions like faith, doubt, and prayer in unique and often provocative ways. Through a combination of listening and discussion, this four-part series invites participants to explore a different spiritual topic each week. Join us to listen to great music that asks tough questions about our faith and our lives as Christians.

Fridays in June 2021, 16:30 BST. Register for a Zoom invite at

SESSION 1: Beer With Jesus

Cowboy, soldier, friend, mother, gangsta: Jesus has appeared in all these guises – and many more – in pop songs over the past 50 years. By exploring what these different incarnations say about the ways modern Christians have imagined Jesus, this session will challenge us to consider how our own assumptions affect the way we relate to him. Do they help us to follow him – or are they a hindrance? And do we fall into the trap of recreating Jesus in our own image?

SESSION 2: Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?

What would Jesus think if he came back today? That’s a question posed by artists working in genres as diverse as folk, hip-hop, punk, country, and heavy metal. Though written by non-Christians, most of these songs have no problem with Jesus, but instead with his followers, accusing them of sins including hypocrisy, judgmentalism, intolerance, and greed. Listening to these “prophetic” songs will challenge participants to consider how they can better follow Christ in their own lives and as representatives of the Church.

SESSION 3: Jesus, Forgive Me for the Things I’m About to Do

Pop songs are full of prayers. But rather than relying on familiar words, musicians lift their voices to Jesus in ways that are often highly personal and heartbreakingly honest. This session explores what we can learn about prayer – and faith – from the pleas and tears of a wide variety of artists. What to do they pray for? Why and how? How do we see ourselves in these songs, and how might it affect the way we think about prayer?

SESSION 4: If I Believe You

Pop songs include some of the most honest and powerful examples of spiritual searching that you can find. Whether they are doubting believers, faithful doubters, unwilling atheists, or simple humans hungering for meaning, pop musicians bring to life approaches to faith that rival the psalms in their depth and nuance. This session will use these songs to help us understand and articulate the various ways we consider “belief”, and how that relates to our identities as modern Christians.

With Delvyn Case, a composer, conductor, scholar, performer, concert producer, and educator.


Deus Ex Musica - Psalm 57.

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