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)show more