Can a secularist appreciate religious music?

Philosophy 83 (3):391-395 (2008)
Abstract
David Pugmire has argued that secularists can genuinely appreciate religious music because of our imaginative powers combined with the 'Platonic' nature of the emotions expressed in such music. I argue that Pugmire is wrong on both counts. Religious music is 'Platonic' not because it is subject to levels of imagination but because it has a definite object which makes imaginative readings inferior. Moreover, since religious music does have a clear object taken by the believer as real, a gap exists that cannot be bridged by the imagination of the secularist, even imagination of the emotional 'last instance'
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819108000740
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