Psalms for the Spirit Ep. 6: Building Bridges of Salaam (Peace) through Song, with Eric Sarwar

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, there is a link to the video of our fuller conversation, including footage of Eric playing and singing some traditional Pakistani psalm settings. 

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More about Eric:

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.

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