Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version

May have been the original form of speech. In ancient times, epic poetry was chanted. Chanting occurs in animistic religions (by shamans), Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam—indeed perhaps in all religions. The repetitive nature of chanting helps to quiet mind and body.

Gregorian chant, the traditional music of the Catholic Church, was fully developed by the seventh century and was modeled on Jewish practices. During 1994, a compact disc containing Gregorian chant by contemporary Spanish monks became an international best-seller, no doubt reflecting the appeal of New Age music, a genre meant to create a relaxed meditative mood.

Joseph B. Tamney

return to Encyclopedia Table of Contents

Hartford Institute for Religion Research   hirr@hartsem.edu
Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105  860-509-9500