Writing Process: Book Progress

Since the summer, I’ve had a book outline up on the wall in my son’s bedroom. Little snips of index cards, stuck to the wall with blue painter’s tape.

I often think about this book project (it’s one of two I’m working on—this one is based in my doctoral research on music in fundamentalist Christianity). But I don’t often think about the big picture—the index card outline was my way of getting the big picture out of me, so I had the mental space to let my ideas cohere.

I’ve like to say it was some inner impulse prompting me to work on the big picture again, but in fact, it’s the pragmatic “and now my son is tall enough to pull the lowest cards off the wall and crumple them up” that’s brought me back.

So here I am, thinking about fundamentalist Christian music and theology:

This is a book about a group of evangelicals who believe that God’s nature, or aspects of God’s nature, are reflected/revealed in music (or, vise versa, distorted through music), and that, by choosing Good/godly music, they will be able to reveal their born again salvation, thereby glorifying God and drawing unbelievers to the faith.

The questions that arise from this:

  • what about God is revealed?
  • what kind(s) of music (or elements of music) reveal accurately, and which distort?
  • why would music/musical practices evidence salvation in a socially and spiritually meaningful way?
  • how does specific culture affect this understanding of music?
  • what music/musical practices result from these beliefs?

What do you think? What other questions arise come to your mind?


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