Gerard J. Yun


This article explores the social value and meaning of interfaith-cross-cultural improvisation (musical improvisation between people from differing cultural and faith traditions) and its unique quality of engaging widely different cultural and faith-based groups. It draws concepts from evolutionary biology, ethnomusicology, religious experience, the emerging field of community music, and the insight of first-hand participants. Interfaith-cross-cultural improvisation can be seen as a form of “deep play” with the ability to signal and evoke empathy across participants who identify with divergent beliefs, cultures, and practices. The article attempts to illuminate the process of interfaith-cross-cultural improvisation as a meaningful undertaking of interfaith and multicultural practice, important to the formation of group empathy, sense of connection, and ultimately creating a deep sense of community.