Sounds of Children in Worship: Materiality and Liturgical-Ritual Spaces

L.C. van Leersum-Bekebrede, Martijn Oosterbaan, P.M. Sonnenberg, M. Barnard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Bringing together concepts from the fields of material religion
    and liturgical studies, this article explores how adults and
    children manage sound-related affordances during worship. The
    concept of affordances—the possibilities an environment offers
    a person—is made sensitive to socialization and is related to the
    concept of liturgical-ritual space. Liturgical-ritual space comes
    into being through people’s participation in an environment and
    is therefore defined as a type of lived-in space. The analysis of
    children’s acoustic participation in two pre-Reformation church
    buildings shows how sounds made by children contribute to the
    creation of a liturgical-ritual space. It also brings to light tensions
    in how adults experience and interpret the sounds that children
    make. Attention to sound highlights the relationship between
    people and the material environment and shows that sound
    matters in Protestant worship with children, not only for the
    cognitive messages it may convey but for its affective qualities
    as well.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)557-579
    Number of pages23
    JournalMaterial Religion
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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