Next Article in Journal
Religiosity and Relationship Quality of Dating Relationships: Examining Relationship Religiosity as a Mediator
Next Article in Special Issue
The Untidy Playground: An Irish Congolese Case Study in Sonic Encounters with the Sacred Stranger
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Music’s Role in Facilitating the Process of Healing—A Thematic Analysis
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Religions 2017, 8(9), 185; doi:10.3390/rel8090185

Dieter Schnebel: Spiritual Music Today

Perkins School of Theology and Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750133, Dallas, TX 75275–0133, USA
Academic Editor: Edward Foley
Received: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music: Its Theologies and Spiritualities—A Global Perspective)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [200 KB, uploaded 12 September 2017]


This article presents an annotated English translation of the composer-theologian Dieter Schnebel’s seminal essay exploring music’s spiritual capacities. Speaking explicitly from his time and place, Schnebel considers compositional questions arising from the most advanced new music of European modernism. The approach is driven by insights derived from Marxist critical theory and the “new theology” associated with Bonhoeffer, Bultmann, and others. Acknowledging the secularized, religionless society Bonhoeffer had predicted in 1944, Schnebel argues that an authentic geistliche Musik has always been one driven by a secularizing dynamic, pressing beyond the walls of the church to engage a broken world of injustice and suffering. For him, the experimental avant-garde is fertile ground, since a music of the Spirit is a new, non-conformist music engaged in renewal. A translator’s introduction analyzes briefly the major components of Schnebel’s thought. View Full-Text
Keywords: Theodor Adorno; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Karl Barth; Anton Webern; Gustav Mahler; demythologization; secularization; Confessing Church; German modernism Theodor Adorno; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Karl Barth; Anton Webern; Gustav Mahler; demythologization; secularization; Confessing Church; German modernism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Anderson, C. Dieter Schnebel: Spiritual Music Today. Religions 2017, 8, 185.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top