The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93966   Message #1814864
Posted By: Goose Gander
21-Aug-06 - 02:04 AM
Thread Name: Johnny Cash: The Kitsch of Death!
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash: The Kitsch of Death!
Yes, I am familiar with the subject matter of Sacred Harp, and I don't doubt that Sacred Harp singers had tough lives, as have most of the human race throughout most of history. I have two problems with your formulation.

First of all, getting a little into philosophy, Thomas Hobbes wrote that life in a state of nature was "nasty, brutish and short." His antidote to this was the Leviathan state which held strict control and regulated society to mitigate the worst excesses of life's endless misery. There is no similar philosophical underpinning to the theology of Sacred Harp.

Second of all, and perhaps more important, I don't believe the focus upon death in Sacred Harp reflected escapism and longing for death as much as it demonstrated a deep need to make sense of earthly suffering and thus to find the strength to live through it. In other words, the focus upon death in Sacred Harp was rooted in a desire to overcome suffering and thus was an adaptive response to objective conditions.