Can Non-Christians Appreciate Bach?

Bach’s “St Matthew Passion” is a musical masterpiece. But can you understand it without sharing its creator’s beliefs, asks Sameer Rahim. He goes on to say: “Alain de Botton argues in his recent book ‘Religion for Atheists‘ that you can separate the aesthetic experience of a religious work from its bothersome theological baggage. I have my doubts.” I have doubts, as well, which is why I don’t like listening to Christmas songs where Jesus figures in to the lyrics. “We only listen for the melodies and for the festive spirit of holiday carols, not for the religious part” is what some of my non-Christian, Christmas-loving friends tell me. Sorry, I can’t make the distinction.

Leave a Comment