ARTS 578

The Fifth Evangelist: The Sacred Repertoire of J.S. Bach

Course Description

On May 22, 1723, J.S. Bach moved to Leipzig to take up a posting as director of music at St. Thomas Church, beginning 27 years of vigorous musical output in that city. Over that time, Bach composed, performed, and directed some of the most famous sacred music in the western tradition. Through it all, the signature on his manuscripts—SDG, or Soli Deo Gloria—spoke loudly of his life's calling and the purpose of his musical output. Join us as we explore and honour Bach's incalculable legacy and enduring impact on church music, both choral and instrumental. Enter into the profoundly moving St. John Passion, the incomparable Mass in B Minor, as well as some of his best-known preludes and cantatas. Consider the character of this remarkable man throughout his career whose faithful service and unparalleled skill have drawn countless believers into contemplation of the glory of God.

Dates May 22–May 26
Days & Times Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri
Format Onsite/Online
Credit Hours 1–2
Audit Hours 1



Sven Soderlund

Professor Emeritus, Biblical Studies

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Dr. Dietrich Bartel

Emeritus Professor of Music, Canadian Mennonite University

J. Evan Kreider

Professor Emeritus Musicology, UBC

Edward Norman

Professional organist and recitalist


There are no prerequisites for this course.

What I love about Regent is that it’s a place for people who have questions about their ordinary lives. Not just academic theological questions, but questions about what it means to live the good life or be faithful. Not just a space for heady conversations but a place to wrestle with faith and a place where they can belong.” — Vivian Lee (MATS student)