Mar 7, 2021 • 55M

Ep. 6 Building Bridges of Salaam (Peace) through Song, with Eric Sarwar

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This podcast looks at the connections between spirituality and resilience through the lens of the Biblical Psalms. It explores how the Psalms help people through difficult times – times of personal and collective trauma – through conversations about personal story, field research, and theological reflection from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Listeners might include clergy, seminarians, spiritual directors, hymnwriters, church musicians, mental health practitioners, anyone interested in the intersection between spirituality and lived experience.
Episode details

Today’s guest is Eric Sarwar, a minister, musician and academic, from Pakistan and currently based in California. I first met Eric many years ago when he was visiting Northern Ireland, and I remember my kids and I dancing around the kitchen to some of the music he left behind for us to listen to. A few years later, Eric and I met again at a conference in the States, and shared music across our traditions, which shows just how universal music can be. Eric has a deep personal love for the Psalms and has studied the history of the Psalter used in Pakistan. I wanted to hear from him what the Psalms have meant for his Pakistani diasporic community, and also about his fascinating doctoral work looking at the Psalms as a starting point for interfaith dialogue with Muslim neighbors. I’m grateful to Eric for sharing his music for this episode – you’ll hear him singing and playing his harmonium to demonstrate the sounds of the psalter he grew up hearing, and you’ll also hear a recent recording of a musical collaboration that is really delightful. This time, check episode notes for a link to the video of our fuller conversation, including footage of Eric playing and singing some traditional Pakistani psalm settings.

View video of the conversation with Eric here 

Links to songs by Eric:

Celtic Psalms (Kiran Young Wimberly and The McGraths) can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and YouTube.

Celtic Psalms songs featured in this episode:

Come, Spirit, Come (Psalm 144/The King's Shilling)

Love is Lord of All (Psalm 86/My Lagan Love)  

More about Eric Sarwar:

Rev.Dr. Eric Sarwar (Ph.D. Fuller Theological Seminary) has a three-dimensional ministry calling: (1) Musician, (2) Minister, and (3) Missiologist. Along with church planting and inspired intuition, he established the first-ever Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship in Pakistan. Dr. Sarwar is a passionate preacher, translator, an excellent communicator, and a phenomenal catalyst for music and mission-related ministries worldwide. As a music composer and songwriter recorded four albums and various songs for children and youth ministry, published three books and articles, and interviews on worship and witnessed through music in the Islamic context.