The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Jazz–More than Music (p1)

Ralph Ellison was a jazz trumpeter and lover of jazz in general.  It was Ellison who said that "American life is jazz-shaped."  He then went on to demonstrate this when he wrote, "The Invisible Man."  Ellison wrote a lot about jazz and included references to jazz in many of his works, but in "The Invisible Man," he was writing IN jazz.

Ellison’s work is essential to those of us in search of a jazz-based faith because Ellison demonstrates for us that while jazz is mainly known as a music–jazz is more than music–and perhaps we can believe IN jazz.Ralph_ellison

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Cynthia R. Nielsen

posted July 3, 2006 at 10:16 am

Nice blog. I am linking you to my blog. My undergraduate was in jazz (jazz guitar). I am a PhD student and adjunct philosophy instructor who also views jazz in a positive light and as a valuable resource to help us better understand our theology. I will be presenting a paper on the topic, “The Anti-Enlightenment Nature of Jazz: Reconsidering Suffering, Syncopation, and Improvisation in Light of the Christian Metanarrative,” at an upcoming conference at Baylor University. If you are interested in reading the abstract, I invite you to visit the following link:

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posted July 5, 2006 at 9:37 pm

Your abstract looks fascinating and I’d love to see more.

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Cynthia R. Nielsen

posted July 8, 2006 at 7:48 am

Dear JT,
I recently posted a section of my paper on black spirituals (influenced by Cone). If you are interested, you can read it at the following link:

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