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Speakers 2017

  • Prof. Nancy Ammerman

    Prof. Nancy Ammerman

    Professor of Sociology, Boston University

    Nancy Ammerman is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University's School of Theology and in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences.  Since September 2015, she has served as Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Social Sciences. Her most recent book Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2013) explores the ways religion and spirituality are part of the everyday world of work, home, health, and public life.  She has written widely on American congregations, including Congregation and Community (Rutgers University Press, 1997) and Pillars of Faith: American Congregations and their Partners (University of California Press, 2005).

  • Prof. Jeremy Begbie

    Prof. Jeremy Begbie

    Thomas A. Langford Research Professor of Theology, Duke Divinity School

    Jeremy Begbie is the inaugural holder of the Thomas A. Langford Research Professorship in Theology at Duke Divinity School, North Carolina, and founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts.

    He teaches systematic theology, and he specialises in the interface between theology and the arts. His particular research interest is the interplay between music and theology.

    He is also Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. Previously he has been Associate Principal at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews where he directed the research project, Theology Through the Arts at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts.

    He is author of a number of books, including Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts (T & T Clark); Theology, Music and Time (CUP), and most recently, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Baker/SPCK) which won the Christianity Today 2008 Book Award in the Theology/Ethics Category. A professionally trained and active musician, Begbie has taught widely in the UK and North America, and delivered performance-lectures across the world, from Israel to Australia and Hong Kong.

  • Dr. Sylvia A. Nannyonga-Tamusuza

    Dr. Sylvia A. Nannyonga-Tamusuza

    Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Makerere University

    Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, PhD is Associate Professor of Music at Makerere University and Head of the Department of Performing Arts and Film. She is the co-coordinator of the Ethnomusicology in Uganda Projects, and founder and Curator of the Makerere University Klaus Wachsmann Music Archive. 
    Nannyonga-Tamusuza has published on popular music, Roman Catholic Church music in Uganda, school music competitions, dance as music, sexuality in music and dance, politics and gender in music, the interface between ethnomusicology and music education,  identities in diasporic music, and music repatriation and archiving. Her publications include the book Baakisimba: Gender in Music and Dance of the Baganda People of Uganda (Routledge, 2005) and numerous articles in journals and edited volumes. She is co-editor of Ethnomusicology in East Africa: Perspectives from Uganda and Beyond (Fountain, 2012).

  • Dr. Bissera Pentcheva

    Dr. Bissera Pentcheva

    Associate Professor of Medieval Art, Associate Professor of Classics, Stanford University

    Bissera Pentcheva teaches medieval art at Stanford University. Her research focuses on animation, phenomenology, aesthetics, and acoustics. Her articles have appeared in the Art Bulletin, Gesta, and Dumbarton Oaks Papers. Her three books include: Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium, Penn State Press 2006; The Sensual Icon: Space Ritual and The Senses in Byzantium, Penn State Press 2010; and Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space, and Spirit in Byzantium, Penn State Press in 2017. She has just completed an edited volume on art, music, acoustics, and the use of digital technology: Pentcheva, ed., Aural Architecture: Music, Acoustics and Ritual in Byzantium, Ashgate/Routledge 2017.

  • Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit

    Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit

    Research Professor in the Department of Music and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel, Tufts University

    Jeffrey A. Summit, Ph.D. holds the appointment of Research Professor in the Department of Music and in the Judaic Studies program at Tufts University, where he also serves as rabbi and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel. He is the author of Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism (Oxford University Press) and The Lord's Song in a Strange Land: Music and Identity in Contemporary Jewish Worship (Oxford University Press). His CD Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) was nominated for a GRAMMY award. His CD with video Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music and Interfaith Harmony in Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) was awarded Best World Music CD by the Independent Music Awards. His research focuses on music and identity, music and spiritual experience, music and advocacy, and the impact of technology on the transmission of tradition.

  • Dr. Bettina Varwig

    Dr. Bettina Varwig

    Senior Lecturer in Music, King’s College London

    Bettina Varwig is Senior Lecturer in Music at King’s College London. After completing her PhD at Harvard University, she was a Junior Research Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford and held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Her first book, Histories of Heinrich Schütz, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. She received the Jerome Roche Prize of the Royal Musical Association in 2013 and the William H. Scheide Prize of the American Bach Society in 2016. Her current research focuses on the intersections of music and the body in early modernity. 

  • Prof. John Witvliet

    Prof. John Witvliet

    Professor of Worship, Theology, & Congregational and Ministry Studies, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

    John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of worship, theology, and congregational and ministry studies at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. His responsibilities include oversight of the Institute's practical and scholarly programs, and teaching courses at both the college and seminary.

    His areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, choral music and consulting with churches on worship renewal.

    Dr. Witvliet received his Ph.D. in liturgical studies and theology from the University of Notre Dame.

  • Dr. Abigail Wood

    Dr. Abigail Wood

    Senior Lecturer, Department of Music, University of Haifa

    Abigail Wood is senior lecturer and Head of the Department of Music at the University of Haifa, Israel and co-editor of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum. She previously held the Joe Loss Lectureship in Jewish Music at SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on contemporary Jewish musics; her recent research focuses on the soundscapes of the Old City in Jerusalem, including the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reflected and reconfigured in sound.