Ancient Music and Theology Network

ancient music

The Oxford Network on Ancient Music and Theology aims at establishing a pioneering collaboration between scholars working on ancient Greek and Roman Music, Theology, Biblical Studies, Music History, Literature and Philosophy.

The world of ancient Mousikē embraced not only music in the modern sense of the word, but also many other products of the ‘art of the Muses’ such as dance, poetry, rhetoric and drama. The seamless interplay of these artistic languages produced a wide array of cultural expressions that permeated the lives of Graeco-Roman communities – ranging from private recitals to choral and instrumental educational practices, up to large multimedia performances in religious ceremonies, competitions and festivals.

The last decades have seen an unprecedented growth in our knowledge of ancient Mousikē, both on a cultural and on a technical level. This vital evidence now allows us to recapture the defining features of ancient scales, rhythms and instruments, and their developments in Classical, Hellenistic and late antique times. It also sheds new light on influential accounts of the ethical, aesthetic and emotional impact of different kinds of music – accounts destined to play a central role not only in Graeco-Roman contexts but also in Hellenistic Jewish thought and Christian religious practices, philosophy and theology.

The Oxford Network on Ancient Music and Theology will begin to explore these rich multi- cultural exchanges, fostering a mutually illuminating dialogue that will make accessible to a wider audience the latest research results of our individual disciplines, and will define the future agenda for this nascent research field.



Main contact:

Dr Tosca Lynch,



The list of founding members:

 Dr Tosca Lynch (Faculty of Classics)

 Canon Professor Carol Harrison (Faculty of Theology and Religion)

 Professor Jan Joosten (Faculty of Oriental Studies)

 Dr Giovanni Varelli (Faculty of Music)



Dr Tosca Lynch

Canon Professor Carol Harrison

Dr Giovanni Varelli

Past Events