Sunday, November 16, 2008

Church of Beethoven

Posted by Teresa at 10:44 AM
This weekend NPR covered an interesting story of an unusual Sunday "church."
Details from the story page:

Albuquerque, N.M., is no different from any other American city, in
terms of its religious life; you've got churches, synagogues, a couple
of Unitarian congregations and a mosque. But an abandoned gas
station along old Route 66 is the unlikely home for another kind of
Sunday-morning service, and it's one that you won't find anywhere
else. It's called the Church of Beethoven.

Felix Wurman isn't a rabbi, priest or preacher. He plays the cello. He
didn't feel at home in church, because he's not religious. But he says
he also felt that there was something missing in formal concert halls
where he performs.

"One of the things you do as a professional classical musician is play
'church jobs,' " Wurman says, "and I always felt that this is so wonderful,
all this music, the collection of people, this beautiful room. But there
was something lacking."

Wurman is a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Before
that, he studied with the legendary British cellist Jacqueline du Pre,
toured with Andrew Lloyd Webber and performed with Chicago's
Lyric Opera Orchestra.

This is the most intriguing quote from the story:

Really, the idea is to find spirituality through culture,
through the
cultural gifts that so many people have
suffered for and created
over so many generations,"
Wurman says. "There's so much information there that's useful."

How can one find spirituality through culture? Music is music. We shouldn't put
culture up in this pedestal. Music does not feed and sustain our souls. Poems do
not feed and sustain our souls. God does.

Also, the man says he's not religious but why does he feel the need to imitate a
religious practice - the church service. It reminds of the atheist churches I've
been hearing about. If one is rejecting traditional religion or all religions then why
the need to copy religious norms?
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