Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls

Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls

Paperback Engaging Culture

By (author) Clive Marsh, By (author) Vaughan S Roberts

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  • Publisher: Baker Academic, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Format: Paperback | 234 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 15 January 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Ada, MI
  • ISBN 10: 0801039096
  • ISBN 13: 9780801039096
  • Sales rank: 285,697

Product description

Pop music is now an ever-present force shaping citizens in the West. Even at funerals, pop music is often requested over hymns. But how does popular music work? And what roles does it play for listeners who engage it? This new addition to the critically acclaimed Engaging Culture series explores the theological significance of the ways pop music is listened to and used today. The authors show that popular music is used by religious and nonreligious people alike to make meaning, enabling listeners to explore human concerns about embodiment, create communities, and tap into transcendence. They assess what is happening to Christian faith and theology as a result. The book incorporates case studies featuring noted music artists of our day--including David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, and Lady Gaga--and includes practical implications for the church, the academy, and daily musical listening. It also includes a foreword by Tom Beaudoin, author of "Virtual Faith."

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Author information

Clive Marsh (DPhil, University of Oxford) is senior lecturer at and director of the Institute of Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester, in Leicester, England. He is the author of many books, including "Cinema and Sentiment: Film's Challenge to Theology "and" Theology Goes to the Movies: An Introduction to Critical Christian Thinking." Vaughan S. Roberts (PhD, University of Bath) is rector at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary in Warwick, England, and an active writer on topics of religion and contemporary culture.

Back cover copy

How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls Pop music is now an ever-present force shaping citizens in the West. Even at funerals, it is often requested over hymns. But how does popular music work, and what roles does it play for listeners who engage it? "Personal Jesus" explores the theological significance of the ways pop music is listened to and used today. Popular music is used by religious and nonreligious people alike to make meaning, enabling us to explore human concerns about embodiment, create communities, and tap into transcendence. The authors assess what is happening to Christian faith and theology as a result and explore practical implications for the church, the academy, and daily musical listening. ""Personal Jesus "is one of the best theological treatments of pop culture I have ever read. Marsh and Roberts offer a many-layered, comprehensive model for how we can more thoughtfully understand and engage pop music. Weaving together an impressive array of scholarship on the subject and a wide variety of music--everyone from Springsteen to Lady Gaga--"Personal Jesus" is a book that will help pastors, students, scholars, and everyday music fans better understand how and why pop music matters in the Christian life." --Brett McCracken, author of "Hipster Christianity " "Marsh and Roberts prepare the way for a new style of making theological sense of popular culture. The continued decline of the influence of religious traditions makes this kind of theological study even more imperative. In this situation, Marsh and Roberts show us why studying the lived experience of popular music is an imperative if we want to find out where religion cohabitates with ordinary stuff, more or less openly, today: in the spaces of meaning communicated by music in everyday life." --Tom Beaudoin, Fordham University; author of "Virtual Faith" (from the foreword)