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II God in Secular Music Culture: The Theodicy of the Blues as the Paradigm of Proof

II God in Secular Music Culture: The Theodicy of the Blues as the Paradigm of Proof II God in Secular Music Cullure: 1'1te 1'1teodicy ol llte Blues as 11,e Paradigm of Proof Environmental disruptions are not perceived as being "evil until they adversely affect human interests, particularly the interests of the disinherited, who already face the preponderance of moral evil in the world. Hence, when black sharecroppers and migrant workers of the postbellum South witness the great damage spring floods have caused their community's meager dwellings they might easily be moved to croon the blues like Texas blueswoman Sippie Wallace: The water is rising people fleeing for the hills Lord the water will obey if you just say "be still." ("The Flood Blues") But in the light of the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and ornnibenevolent God who can simply speak to the waters and they will obey, why the suffering of the oppressed is not arrested or at least lessened is emblematic of the "theodicy problem" that blues ad­ dresses. Blues os 11,e Porodigm ol Prool My intent is to demonstrate that blues singers reflect both on the cause of evil (e.g., "reaping what you sow and "the work of the Black Sacred Music 3:2, Fall 1989. Copyright © 1989 by Duke University Press. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

II God in Secular Music Culture: The Theodicy of the Blues as the Paradigm of Proof

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Copyright
Copyright © 1989 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-3.2.17
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

II God in Secular Music Cullure: 1'1te 1'1teodicy ol llte Blues as 11,e Paradigm of Proof Environmental disruptions are not perceived as being "evil until they adversely affect human interests, particularly the interests of the disinherited, who already face the preponderance of moral evil in the world. Hence, when black sharecroppers and migrant workers of the postbellum South witness the great damage spring floods have caused their community's meager dwellings they might easily be moved to croon the blues like Texas blueswoman Sippie Wallace: The water is rising people fleeing for the hills Lord the water will obey if you just say "be still." ("The Flood Blues") But in the light of the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and ornnibenevolent God who can simply speak to the waters and they will obey, why the suffering of the oppressed is not arrested or at least lessened is emblematic of the "theodicy problem" that blues ad­ dresses. Blues os 11,e Porodigm ol Prool My intent is to demonstrate that blues singers reflect both on the cause of evil (e.g., "reaping what you sow and "the work of the Black Sacred Music 3:2, Fall 1989. Copyright © 1989 by Duke University Press.

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1989

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