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World FluteloreFolktales, Myths, and Other Stories of Magical Flute Power$
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Dale A. Olsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037887

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037887.001.0001

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Religious Status of Flutes

Religious Status of Flutes

(p.150) Chapter 12 Religious Status of Flutes
World Flutelore

Dale A. Olsen

University of Illinois Press

Throughout this book, flutes have often been shown to be implements of supernatural power. As such, many flutes could also be interpreted as being religious, because metaphysical power is commonly associated with “religious” power. In some cultures with ancient religious beliefs certain flutes have extraordinarily high religious status. This chapter deals specifically with flutelore that pertains to the spirituality of flutes within four religious systems: Sufism, Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, and Judeo-Christianity. The particular instruments are the Arabic or Farsi nay, the Hindustani bansuri or Karnatic venu, the Japanese shakuhachi, and biblical “flutes” and musical instruments associated with Jesus, respectively. Through the poetry and other literature pertaining to the use of these flutes within those major religions, we can learn about and appreciate the spiritual qualities of flutes in general.

Keywords:   flutelore, flutes, religion, Sufism, Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, religious beliefs, Judeo-Christianity

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