Does musical inculturation apply to the use of pop and rock styles in American liturgies?


#1

Here is the opinion of Bishop Sample in his new pastoral letter on music in the liturgy:

“Also a part of the Church’s musical treasury is the vast body of popular sacred music. In the context of the sacred liturgy, THE TERM “POPULAR” DOES NOT SIGNIFY THE SO-CALLED “POP CULTURE” but comes from the Latin “populus”, people. POPULAR SACRED MUSIC INCLUDES HYMNODY, PSALMODY, VERNACULAR MASS SETTINGS, MANY OF THE LATIN CHANT SETTINGS, and other forms of sacred music suited to the musical abilities of the people.”

He later states (in reference to mission lands and the musical traditions of various cultures):
“It is important to note here that when we speak of the sacred music of a particular culture, we are indeed speaking of music that is considered truly “sacred” within a culture. This is not applicable to subcultures within a given society that have no connection with a religious or spiritual culture.”

Evidently, American “folk” music, pop music and rock-style music does NOT provide an appropriate setting for the text and hymns of the sacred liturgy.

Your thoughts?


#2

My thought on it is the following. I personally love contemporary Christian praise and worship music. While I have seen it done poorly, as though at a concert, most of the time the musicians sing and play in order to lead others in worship and do not want any public praise/accolades. My love of Steubenville conferences is well-known on these boards. So, I see no reason to restate it. I don't particularly like chant. I do not find that it leads me to consolation in prayer or to deeper meditation/contemplation. Matt Maher, however, does. So, while objectively, chant may be more beautiful, from my subjective point of view, it is not. I am by no means an expert in music...I'm just responding to your question.

Personally however, I think it will be a great tragedy, from the standpoint of prudential judgment, if we let the fact that chant holds pride of place in the Roman Liturgy prejudice us against contemporary music. I've said it before and I'll say it again...young people, as a whole, do not like chant. They find it boring, somber, and hard to sing. Rightly or wrongly, it's the reality. Speaking bluntly, I don't want an empty church.

I respect Bishop Sample and his opinion/authority on the matter. I would say that among my peers in the priesthood, 90% don't see this as an issue. Five percent would like to see the use of contemporary P&W music retained, and perhaps even increase. Five percent would just as soon see it banned outright.

I would point out though, that as we critique Steubenville conferences and their associated music, Raymond Cardinal Burke as well as Archbishop Charles Chaput, among others, welcomed these conferences to their respective dioceses.


#3

[quote="opus101, post:1, topic:315025"]

Your thoughts?

[/quote]

My honest feelings? I hope folk music becomes the "sacred norm," not because I like folk music, but just out of spite. :p


#4

When one considers the origins of American Rag Time and Jazz, in the brothels and juke joints (low dives) of New Orleans, and the cities on the shores of the Mississippi River, and as it spread throughout American culture its venue was saloons, bars and low class night clubs, I hardly think that it is suitable as music for worship. The same thing goes for Rock and Roll, especially considering the blasphemous and utterly sinful nature of much of its lyrics.
However, Southern Gospel Music, which has many of its roots in the American Negro
Spiritual is entirely a different thing.
The unfortunate thing about the rest of popular music - including much of so-called folk or "hillbilly" music is its utter banality. There is little about it that is spiritually up lifting.
I happen to agree with the Bishop on this.
The ugly fact of the matter is that much of what we come across in modern Catholic Hymnals since V II falls into this latter category. Banal tunes with infantile lyrics that are an insult to intelligent people! It is as if the people compiling these Hymnals thought Catholics lived in trailor parks!


#5

Can you give me an example please? I mean, an actual title? Because I think we frequently mix genres here.

As an aside, let me just point out that just because Jazz developed they way in which you describe does not mean it is objectively bad. About 800 years ago many people told some goofy priest he ought not read Aristotle because be was pagan. When this goofy priest was done with Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas had given the church the Summa Theogiae.


#6

[quote="George_Stegmeir, post:4, topic:315025"]
When one considers the origins of American Rag Time and Jazz, in the brothels and juke joints (low dives) of New Orleans, and the cities on the shores of the Mississippi River, and as it spread throughout American culture its venue was saloons, bars and low class night clubs, I hardly think that it is suitable as music for worship.

[/quote]

Yeah, that music originated with sinners!

Fortunately, we have music that--oh, wait...:o


#7

Personally, I think a number of you are completely missing the point. If you read the entire pastoral letter, you might get a better understanding of the bishop’s teaching.

In it he makes a distinction between secular and “sacred” music, he is not talking about the difference between secular and simply “religious” music. Bishop Olmsted, last year, was able to describe the difference between “sacred” and “religious” music quite clearly.

Pop/secular styles of music are often used in “religious” music, but are never used in truly “sacred music”. Sacred music is music that is used specifically for the divine liturgy… “Sacred” in the sense that it is “set aside”. It has a character that is not merely “religious”, but recognizably sacred (for sacred purposes alone).

For instance, Hebrew folk music was not used in the temple sacrifices, nor in the synagogue - Hebrew chant was their “sacred music”. Amost all cultures and religions have a type of music that is associated with the sacred alone.


#8

[quote="opus101, post:7, topic:315025"]
Personally, I think a number of you are completely missing the point. If you read the entire pastoral letter, you might get a better understanding of the bishop's teaching.

In it he makes a distinction between secular and "sacred" music, he is not talking about the difference between secular and simply "religious" music. Bishop Olmsted, last year, was able to describe the difference between "sacred" and "religious" music quite clearly.

Pop/secular styles of music are often used in "religious" music, but are never used in truly "sacred music". Sacred music is music that is used specifically for the divine liturgy... "Sacred" in the sense that it is "set aside". It has a character that is not merely "religious", but recognizably sacred (for sacred purposes alone).

For instance, Hebrew folk music was not used in the temple sacrifices, nor in the synagogue - Hebrew chant was their "sacred music". Amost all cultures and religions have a type of music that is associated with the sacred alone.

[/quote]

FIne. But, you asked what our thoughts were. So, we gave them to you. I have a great deal of respect for Bishop Olmsted as well as Bishop Sample. I've skimmed his letter (haven't had time to read it in its entirety, yesterday WAS Ash Wednesday, you know). I, and others, do not deny that there is such a thing as sacred music.

In another similar thread you said this,

It is hard for some to believe that they have been led down the wrong path for so long...but it is the simple truth. There is no judgement here about their intentions - all are probably people of good will, and sincerely devout. But also, they are unfortunately poorly formed, misled and misinformed.

With respect, I was not poorly formed. I went to one of the finest seminaries in the United States and had perfectly fine and orthodox professors of liturgy. I do not reject the reality that there is sacred music. I am not, in any way, asserting that EVERYTHING should be permitted. There are certain P&W songs that I do think are inappropriate for liturgy. But, I would not go so far as to say ALL P&W songs are unfit for liturgy or that drums and guitars ought NEVER be permitted. Do I think they should be the norm? No. But not being the norm is a far cry from never.

Now, I am not talking about folk, country, jazz, blues, rap, or anything else. I'm talking about contemporary Christian praise and worship music as you might hear on KLOVE and other similar radio stations. Even some of this strikes me as not appropriate for Mass. But, NOT ALL of it. Let me give some examples of things that seem to me to be perfectly appropriate for the celebration of Holy Mass:

Remembrance by Matt Maher
Christ is Risen by Matt Maher
Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin
The Stand by Kristian Stanfil/Hillsong (yes, it's Protestant...as I said above, Aristotle was pagan)
Not for a Moment by Meredith Andrews
Lifted High by Andy Needham
Your Great Name by Natalie Grant

These are just a few.

What I'm interested in though is the reason behind this question? I don't mean to single you out opus101. You just happen to be the individual to whom I am responding right now. But, why is there so much vitriol on this site? I've never experienced so much anger towards priests and bishops as I do on this web site. It's almost as though among faithful Catholics there is a game being played about who can critique Fr. So and so's Mass the most, who can quote the most magisterial documents to prove his position, and who can prove himself to be the most traditional/orthodox. Rather than fostering dialogue, this hinders it.

Frankly, and again, I don't mean to single you out, but your post plays right into what I'm talking about. In your initial post, you asked for our opinions. I gave mine. It didn't match with yours, so your response was that I must not understand the point. So, in other words, it seems to me that you think I only understand the point if I happen to agree with you. Otherwise, I don't understand the point.

Elsewhere, I have had people implicitly assert that someone with a couple of undergraduate classes in ethics or morals from a secular university knows more about moral theology than the professor of morals at my seminary, a man who earned his doctorate in the field.

I suspect that after reading this, many might suspect me for being a "liberal" priest. It might surprise some to learn that a JPII generation priest who wears a cassock, enjoys using Latin in the liturgy, isn't afraid to preach on contraception and abortion, and hears confessions everyday actually enjoys contemporary music and thinks it has a place for use in the liturgy. But, that is the situation.

I realize this is straying from the topic at hand, but I feel like this needs to be said on this board. As it stands now, I would not recommend these fora to someone interested in exploring the faith. Understand, it's not that I have any huge disagreement with what is written here. I disagree with the tone in which it is often presented. The end result fosters an inherent spirit of suspicion among the faithful. The faithful then stop praying, and start questioning. We start worrying more about how Father holds his hands during the orans position than the state of our hearts. We start worrying more about whether or not the introductory rite used was approved than whether or not we are examining our consciences preparing to receive the King of Kings into our very bodies.

OK...off rant...off soap box. That's all I have to say, but I felt like I needed to say it. I'd be happy to have a civil conversation with you, opus101, or anyone else, on the issue at hand, which is Bishop Sample's pastoral letter.


#9

Where does it end? If folk and jazz are permissible at Mass, why not speed metal, electro funk, acid house, and grindcore?

I happen to like electronic music. I also like eating chocolate cake. Happily, I am able to do without both (without very much discomfort) for an hour a week while the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered.

The Eastern Orthodox must really scratch their heads at the way we in the Latin Church unceasingly flee from our glorious musical heritage of Gregorian chant... If there's one thing we can learn from our "dialogue" with the schismatics, it's their undying devotion to their venerable form of liturgical chant.


#10

[quote="buc_fan33, post:8, topic:315025"]

Now, I am not talking about folk, country, jazz, blues, rap, or anything else.

[/quote]

But I was. That was the topic. Pop, rock, folk...

[quote="buc_fan, post:8, topic:315025"]
But, why is there so much vitriol on this site? I've never experienced so much anger towards priests and bishops as I do on this web site. It's almost as though among faithful Catholics there is a game being played about who can critique Fr. So and so's Mass the most...

[/quote]

Search this thread and see if there is anger towards priests and bishops, or if there is any critique of Father so and so's Mass. The topic is the music itself, the idea of sacred music versus religious music and secular-style music, and Bishop Sample's directives to his flock.

This is exactly what I mean about people getting defensive and taking musical criticisms as criticism of themselves. It's almost impossible to broach this subject here without someone taking it personally.

[quote="buc_fan, post:8, topic:315025"]
Frankly, and again, I don't mean to single you out, but your post plays right into what I'm talking about. In your initial post, you asked for our opinions. I gave mine. It didn't match with yours, so your response was that I must not understand the point. So, in other words, it seems to me that you think I only understand the point if I happen to agree with you. Otherwise, I don't understand the point.

[/quote]

Not so. I asked for your opinion, you gave it, then I gave you mine. My opinion was that some didn't understand the point. Perhaps you did.

[quote="buc_fan, post:8, topic:315025"]
I suspect that after reading this, many might suspect me for being a "liberal" priest. It might surprise some to learn that a JPII generation priest who wears a cassock, enjoys using Latin in the liturgy, isn't afraid to preach on contraception and abortion, and hears confessions everyday actually enjoys contemporary music and thinks it has a place for use in the liturgy. But, that is the situation.

[/quote]

How in the world was anyone to know that you are a priest? "Buc Fan" gives no clue to it.
I apologize. And I'm not surprised that you enjoy contemporary music - I'm also a big fan of Arvo Part, Gubaidulina, and some older contemporary figures such as Bartok, Stravinsky and Prokofiev. Or were you referring to pop music when you used the term "contemporary"?

[quote="buc_fan, post:8, topic:315025"]
I'd be happy to have a civil conversation with you, opus101, or anyone else, on the issue at hand, which is Bishop Sample's pastoral letter.

[/quote]

Okay, then. Have you read it?


#11

Yes, I think that musical inculturation applies to the use of pop and rock styles in American liturgies.

As buc_fan said above, some modern Christian pop tunes can be appropriate in the liturgy - and some can't.

As a convert with a strong background in music, I was thrilled to join the 2000 year old Church. I thought I was going to hear/sing a cross-section of sacred music from the earliest times on up - but no. There are a few modern pieces in our hymnal that are wonderful, but most of them, not so much. My quarrel with the majority of the music at the Masses in my church is that it's stuck in the '70s. I don't need music that makes me feel good about myself. Give me that great old Lutheran classic, "A Mighty Fortress," any time. Give me chant! Give me Vivaldi, Byrd, Palestrina, Handel, Brahms...

Above all, give me music that feels sacred, that draws my attention away from myself, and towards the altar.

As St. John Vianney used to say, pointing at the Tabernacle, HE IS THERE! What happens on the altar is the most important thing in the whole world. Our music, no matter what its genre, needs to reflect that.


#12

[quote="buc_fan33, post:2, topic:315025"]
I've said it before and I'll say it again...young people, as a whole, do not like chant. They find it boring, somber, and hard to sing. Rightly or wrongly, it's the reality. Speaking bluntly, I don't want an empty church.

[/quote]

With all due respect, how do you know that young people "as a whole" do not like chant? It is rare to find a parish that uses chant in the Mass. It would be very hard to come up with statistics on this matter. I'm not saying that you are wrong, I'm just asking how you came to this conclusion.

Also, if you ended up with an empty church because the young people didn't like the music, that doesn't really say very much about why they were there in the first place. Lots of people don't like the pop/rock music in our parishes, but it hasn't kept them from attending Mass.


#13

[quote="Ruthie_again, post:11, topic:315025"]
Yes, I think that musical inculturation applies to the use of pop and rock styles in American liturgies.

As buc_fan said above, some modern Christian pop tunes can be appropriate in the liturgy - and some can't.

[/quote]

What criteria do you use, other than opinion, to make the distinction between religious pop/rock style songs that are appropriate for the liturgy and those that are not? It seems that there would be many conflicting opinions on this matter.

[quote="Ruthie_again, post:11, topic:315025"]
As a convert with a strong background in music, I was thrilled to join the 2000 year old Church. I thought I was going to hear/sing a cross-section of sacred music from the earliest times on up - but no. There are a few modern pieces in our hymnal that are wonderful, but most of them, not so much. My quarrel with the majority of the music at the Masses in my church is that it's stuck in the '70s. I don't need music that makes me feel good about myself. Give me that great old Lutheran classic, "A Mighty Fortress," any time. Give me chant! Give me Vivaldi, Byrd, Palestrina, Handel, Brahms...

Above all, give me music that feels sacred, that draws my attention away from myself, and towards the altar.

As St. John Vianney used to say, pointing at the Tabernacle, HE IS THERE! What happens on the altar is the most important thing in the whole world. Our music, no matter what its genre, needs to reflect that.

[/quote]

I second all of the above!


#14

[quote="opus101, post:12, topic:315025"]

Also, if you ended up with an empty church because the young people didn't like the music, that doesn't really say very much about why they were there in the first place.

[/quote]

Bingo.

Pews emptying because the liturgy hasn't been dragged down to the level of the world is hardly a bad thing. Quite the opposite -Succisa virescit.


#15

[quote="BTNYC, post:9, topic:315025"]
Where does it end? If folk and jazz are permissible at Mass, why not speed metal, electro funk, acid house, and grindcore?

I happen to like electronic music. I also like eating chocolate cake. Happily, I am able to do without both (without very much discomfort) for an hour a week while the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered.

The Eastern Orthodox must really scratch their heads at the way we in the Latin Church unceasingly flee from our glorious musical heritage of Gregorian chant... If there's one thing we can learn from our "dialogue" with the schismatics, it's their undying devotion to their venerable form of liturgical chant.

[/quote]

Speed metal and chocolate cake during Mass would make me feel closer to God. Maybe that's just me...:p


#16

Hi. Thanks for your response. First, let me say that if any of my previous posts seemed harsh, I apologize. It is not my intention or desire to insult or hurt anyone.

But I was. That was the topic. Pop, rock, folk…

Fair enough. Might I suggest though, that we limit it to one genre, and that we clearly define, preferably by youtube links or MP3 files or something, what we mean by said genre? My reasoning is two-fold. First, pop, rock, country, folk, jazz, blues, etc. are very different from one another. I’m by no means an expert in music, but I know there are enough differences among these various genres that what may apply to one (i.e. pop) may not apply to another (i.e. blues). The reason I’d like the links is because we’re talking about something that by definition is heard. What I have in mind when using the word “pop” may be very different than what you have in mind. I think if we can hear examples of what each other has in mind, it will facilitate a better discussion.

Search this thread and see if there is anger towards priests and bishops, or if there is any critique of Father so and so’s Mass. The topic is the music itself, the idea of sacred music versus religious music and secular-style music, and Bishop Sample’s directives to his flock.

Sorry if I was confusing on this point. I did not mean this thread in particular. I was making a general comment about this website as a whole, and more specifically, the liturgy forum. I’m reticent to provide specific examples because I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m singling them out. I realize that I did this with respect to you, and for that, I truly am sorry and apologize.

This is exactly what I mean about people getting defensive and taking musical criticisms as criticism of themselves. It’s almost impossible to broach this subject here without someone taking it personally.

For what it’s worth, I took no offense at anything you said. I certainly don’t take this discussion personally. I’m not even a musician. I play the drums and I can pound out a few things on piano. I’m a good singer. But, I would not call myself a musician.

Not so. I asked for your opinion, you gave it, then I gave you mine. My opinion was that some didn’t understand the point. Perhaps you did.

Sorry if I misunderstood. Again, it just seemed to me that you had already made up your mind on the matter, and anyone who might disagree was therefore wrong. So, I had to ask…why ask their opinion then in the first place?

How in the world was anyone to know that you are a priest? “Buc Fan” gives no clue to it.
I apologize. And I’m not surprised that you enjoy contemporary music - I’m also a big fan of Arvo Part, Gubaidulina, and some older contemporary figures such as Bartok, Stravinsky and Prokofiev. Or were you referring to pop music when you used the term “contemporary”?

No need to apologize. I’ve never wanted to be treated differently because I’m a priest. I’d hope you’d treat me with the same respect you’d treat anyone else, and likewise, you’d treat anyone else with the same respect with which you’d treat me. This is the Gospel call, after all.

Okay, then. Have you read it?

Not yet. You’ll have to give me a few days.


#17

[quote="Ruthie_again, post:11, topic:315025"]
Yes, I think that musical inculturation applies to the use of pop and rock styles in American liturgies.

As buc_fan said above, some modern Christian pop tunes can be appropriate in the liturgy - and some can't.

As a convert with a strong background in music, I was thrilled to join the 2000 year old Church. I thought I was going to hear/sing a cross-section of sacred music from the earliest times on up - but no. There are a few modern pieces in our hymnal that are wonderful, but most of them, not so much. My quarrel with the majority of the music at the Masses in my church is that it's stuck in the '70s. I don't need music that makes me feel good about myself. Give me that great old Lutheran classic, "A Mighty Fortress," any time. Give me chant! Give me Vivaldi, Byrd, Palestrina, Handel, Brahms...

Above all, give me music that feels sacred, that draws my attention away from myself, and towards the altar.

As St. John Vianney used to say, pointing at the Tabernacle, HE IS THERE! What happens on the altar is the most important thing in the whole world. Our music, no matter what its genre, needs to reflect that.

[/quote]

I could not agree more! In fact, I often steal that line from SJV in my own homilies. I will frequently point at the crucifix or the tabernacle to help make a point.


#18

[quote="opus101, post:12, topic:315025"]
With all due respect, how do you know that young people "as a whole" do not like chant? It is rare to find a parish that uses chant in the Mass. It would be very hard to come up with statistics on this matter. I'm not saying that you are wrong, I'm just asking how you came to this conclusion.

Also, if you ended up with an empty church because the young people didn't like the music, that doesn't really say very much about why they were there in the first place. Lots of people don't like the pop/rock music in our parishes, but it hasn't kept them from attending Mass.

[/quote]

I would say it's more anecdotal evidence than anything. I've never done a scientific study of the matter. My anecdotal evidence, however, consists in the following:

[LIST]
*]Our parish celebrates weekly the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. This liturgy is not well-attended, only about 40 people. Very few of these are under 30.
*]Conversely, our diocese just recently registered around 400 students, if I'm not mistaken, for a Steubenville youth conference. We got these students to sign up with little effort. As a matter of fact, we had to waitlist quite a few.
*]In talking with young people whom I have taught, worked with in youth groups, met on conferences, etc, they explicitly tell me by their words, and implicitly by their participation, that they prefer the music at these conferences and wish we could have it at home.
[/LIST]

Now, realize, my parish is what one might call more "traditional." I don't think of it in those terms. We're Catholic. Yes, we use burses and chalice veils. The priests will oftentimes wear cassocks when celebrating Mass. We offer the Extraordinary Form. We use chant and have a professional organist and choir. When not singing chant, we tend towards polyphony. We don't use OCP. This is wonderful! Still though, my experience tells me that our young people are looking for more.

Eventually, I'd like to get them to the point where they enjoy this type of music. But, the reality is that, as a whole, they are not there yet.

As for your second point...my responsibility as a priest is to spread the Gospel. I don't care WHY someone comes to Mass. I care THAT they come. I can't evangelize someone who isn't there. I can't share my love of Christ with someone who isn't there.

This reminds me of why I entered seminary. At first, I was attracted to priests who wore cassocks. I thought they looked cool. So, at least in part, I entered because I wanted to wear one, too. In hindsight, that's a terrible reason to enter the seminary. A man should enter the seminary because he senses a call from Christ to serve the Church as a priest. I had that, but really, I just thought that cassocks were cool. It didn't take long though before that wore off (I still think they are cool, but that soon became less than the driving force behind my vocation) and I began the actual process of discerning this call. Guys come to the seminary for all sorts of reasons. The important thing is that by the time they are ordained deacons, they know that God is calling them to this ministry.

I think the same analogy applies here. I don't care why Jack and Jill come to Mass. I care that they are coming. If I have to offer a pizza party afterwards, fine. If I have to have music that can compete with the E-Free Church down the street, fine. Short of doing something immoral or illegal (and by immoral, I would include changing things in the liturgy that cannot be changed) I will leave no stone unturned to bring people to Christ.


#19

[quote="BTNYC, post:14, topic:315025"]
Bingo.

Pews emptying because the liturgy hasn't been dragged down to the level of the world is hardly a bad thing. Quite the opposite -Succisa virescit.

[/quote]

Actually, I think it's a terrible thing. The first mission of the Church is to evangelize, so says Pope Paul VI. John Paul II said in Redemptoris Missio the time has come to place all of the Church's energy into the New Evangelization.

We mustn't take the attitude of, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out." Rather, we must listen to people first. I will do anything and everything in my power to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If that means allowing, within reason, a guitar at Mass, so be it.


#20

I will try, but it will probably take a while for me to find examples and post them. Really, what I’m referring to is anything that, if you put a secular text to it, would stand on its own as a piece of popular music as opposed to something you would hear that has been composed for sacred purposes alone (such as chorale-style hymns, chant, polyphonic settings to Mass parts).

Conversely, if a secular text from a popular song was set to a Gregorian chant tune (such
as Tantum Ergo), the musical style/setting would immediately be recognizable (if it was rendered in the same way as before) as a sacred music style.
Some might even consider such a thing as a sacrilege, since the chant is considered sacred, as something composed for, and set aside for, the divine liturgy alone.

[quote=buc_fan3310361782]Sorry if I misunderstood. Again, it just seemed to me that you had already made up your mind on the matter, and anyone who might disagree was therefore wrong. So, I had to ask…why ask their opinion then in the first place?
[/quote]

Yes, I already had an opinion on the subject, as does just about everyone. I was interested in how we can use Bishop Sample’s pastoral letter to shed light on our own opinions. Some of the things he said are clear-cut, others I have questions about. For instance, the part I quoted about the musical styles peculiar to certain cultures seems to shed more light on the topic (for me) and is quite clear. If I interpreted him correctly, the teaching of the Church on this matter is not in reference to a culture’s folk or secular pop styles, but to the particular musical styles of a culture that are considered sacred.

On page 5 he states: “…sacred music, even one which reflects the unique culture of a particular region, would still be easily recognized as having a sacred character. The quality of holiness, in other words, is a universal principle that transcends culture.”


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