061: Music Wars with Mike Aquilina

It sounds like a wild exaggeration.

But according to best-selling author Mike Aquilina (a generally trustworthy source), it was music that saved the ancient world from its descent into despair.

My first thought was “Seriously?”

Yep. He’s not kidding.  It’s all in his book “How the Choir Converted the Word: Through Hymns, With Hymns, And In Hymns” from Emmaus Road Publishing. (The book is worth a look for the subtitle alone.)

Given the state of some current liturgical music, I was skeptical to say the least. (I probably should have told the publisher that before I agreed to blurb the book.) But since everything else I ever read by Mike is pure gold, I agreed. I wasn’t disappointed. This book rocks.

Music really did save world.

But it wasn’t without conflict. Music isn’t always used for holy purposes. (Ever been to a Def Leppard concert? Yeah…me neither.) That’s as true today as it was in the ancient world. In case you haven’t noticed, music continues as a battlefront in modern culture.

And it’s a battle we have to win.

So today on the Art of Catholic, we’ll look at how the Church used music to convert the world, as well as how it can happen again. “If we did it once,” says Mike Aquilina, “we can do it again.” So let’s get to it!

In this 2017 kickoff episode, Mike and I discuss:

  • The deep relationship between music and beauty
  • Why trumpets were the electric guitars of the biblical club scene (and even used as weapons)
  • Why the Israelites made the best music in the ancient world
  • The reason early Christians were strangely ambivalent, sometimes even hostile, about music
  • How music brought down one of the most powerful heresies in the history of the Church

All that and much, much more in this incredibly noteworthy episode of the Art of Catholic.

God bless!

Matthew

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