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For our last episode of the season, we’re blasting “Joy to the World” a carol that for many is synonymous with Christmas, but which has almost nothing to do with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
The prolific hymn writer, Isaac Watts, first penned “Joy to the World” after Psalm 98, which reflects the joy that followed Jewish deliverance from exile. But as a carol, it anticipates the second coming of Christ.
As for the iconic tune, that is set by American music director, Lowell Mason, who borrows the melody from the regal masterpiece of George Frederick Handel’s “Messiah.”
Colin Britt returns to the podcast to explain this carol’s musical journey, and Dr. Cecilia González-Andrieu helps us interpret its meaning through the lens of theological aesthetics and eco-theology.
Cecilia’s latest book: Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty
We also want to thank Christopher Walker, Matthew Pierce, Daniel G. Stocker, Smoking Bishop, Sasha Samara, Juan Carlos Quintero, Red Mountain Music, Heather Dale, and the Ignatian Schola for the music on this episode. And to Barbara Rowe, who allowed us to play music from the collection of her late husband Bryan Rowe.
Which Christmas carols would you like for us to explore next year? Let your voice be heard! Complete this brief listener survey.
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