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The spirituality of music

Kevin Jackson, Professor of Business Ethics and Law at Fordham University in New York City, speaks to Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications about music as ‘a profession of contemplative journey’. He points out that he is using the term ‘profession’ ambiguously.

Kevin is a composer and jazz pianist improviser and his presentation at the international conference on Spirituality in Society and the Professions at Waterford Institute of Technology on 16 May 2019 was entitled Music as a Profession of Contemplative Journey: Castles, Bridges, and Butterflies. The talk was composed of two main sections. The first theme, ‘bridges’, concerned Franz Liszt’s understanding of music as an aural sacramental bridge between the material world and the sacred. The second theme, ‘castles’, involved Saint Teresa of Avila’s spatial or architectural representation of the soul as a castle (mansions) containing multiple chambers.

While speaking to Pat about the content of his presentation, Professor Jackson also gives a personal account of his own journey from atheism to Catholicism, referencing the musical influences as part of his journey. Listen to the full interview above.