Singing Church: Project alum Peter Slade explores congregational singing

Peter SladeProject on Lived Theology alum Peter Slade has been awarded a writing grant by the Project on Lived Theology for his book project, Singing Church: A Lived Ecclesiology of Congregational Singing. The grant will support research and writing over the next year.

Dr. Slade’s research will ask, how does our understanding of church shape our congregational singing and how does our understanding of congregational singing shape our churches in the United States? He will pay particular attention to the lived theologies of churches that have developed distinctive practices of congregational singing in their work of uniting the body of Christ across racial, ethnic and generational lines in the praise of God. Continuing the work he started in his book Open Friendship in a Closed Society, he will develop the ecclesiology of open friendship to explore congregational singing as a vital  constitutive practice of the Church: the community of reconciled enemies.

Peter Slade received a doctorate degree in religious studies at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2006. His dissertation, Open Friendship in a Closed Society: Mission Mississippi and a Theology of Friendship, brings the lived experience of an ecumenical racial reconciliation initiative in Jackson, Mississippi into conversation with academic theologies of reconciliation and friendship. His research and teaching marry his interest in practical theology and history with a particular focus on race, social justice and the American south. Prior to studying at U.Va., Slade earned an M.A. in southern studies from the University of Mississippi and a B.D. with honours in Christian ethics and practical theology from St. Andrews University, Scotland. He also worked for five years as a community development worker for the Church of England during which time he studied at Ruskin College, Oxford. Slade held a dissertation fellowship from the Louisville Institute for The Study of Protestantism and American Culture and was a fellow at U.Va.’s Center on Religion and Democracy. In 2004, he was an honoree in the Seven Society Graduate Fellowship for Superb Teaching. Slade is currently an associate professor in the religion department at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. Read Slade’s author interview.