Jazz and Christian Freedom

Freedom in our Time

My book is not only for those few interested in the intersection between jazz and theology, but for those who are working out what Christian freedom means today. At a time when Western society is wrestling with what freedom means in terms of identity, race, and ideology, my aim is to show how the Church can recover and reconstruct a theology of freedom that can navigate between the extremes of subjective liberty and narrow fundamentalism.

Just as biblical figures are taught through parables and metaphors, this book uses jazz improvisation as an analogy for Christian freedom. Just as jazz improvisation relies on successfully navigating constraints such as the history and traditions of jazz, jazz theory, and musical instruments, so Christian freedom also relies on constraints such as the biblical canon, church history, theology, and the church itself. Through understanding the freedom jazz musicians enjoy in making music together, we can better understand how Christian freedom might be enacted in daily life. If Western churches discover and enact Christian freedom in a meaningful way, the songs that they improvise will be as siren calls to people in chains.