Religion and Popular Music

Religion and Popular Music : Artists, Fans, and Cultures

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Through in-depth case studies, Religion and Popular Music explores encounters between music, fans and religion. The book examines several popular music artists - including Bob Dylan, Prince and Katy Perry - and looks at the way religion comes into play in their work and personas. Genres explored by contributing authors include country, folk, rock, metal and Electronic Dance Music. Case studies in the book originate from a variety of geographic and cultural contexts, focusing on topics such as nationalism and hard rock in Russia, fan culture in Argentina, and punk and Islam in Indonesia.

Chapters engage with the central issue of how global music meets local audiences and practices, and considers how fans as well as religious groups react to the uses of religion in popular music. It also looks at how they make these interactions between popular music and religion components in their own identity, community and practice.

Tapping into a vital and lively topic of teaching, research and wider cultural interest, and employing diverse methodologies across musicians, fans and religious groups, this book is an important contribution to the growing field of religion and popular music studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 16mm | 558g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 5 bw illus
  • 1350001473
  • 9781350001473

Table of contents

List of contributor biographies
Introduction, Andreas Hager
Part One: Artists
1. Metaphors and symbols in popular music as exemplified in Katy Perry's music and music videos, Adrian-Mario Gellel (University of Malta, Malta)
2. CeCe Winans, Black Gospel music and the ambivalence of stardom, Angela M Spence Nelson (Bowling Green State University, USA)
3. Judas Priest and the Fury of Metal Redemption, Brian Froese (Canadian Mennonite University, Canada)
4. The Art of Darkness: On Biblical Language in Ozzy Osbourne's
Solo Albums 1980-2010, Michael J. Gilmour (Providence University College, Canada)
Part Two: Fans
5. Consecrating an extraordinary being: Fan culture among Gilda's followers in Argentina, Eloisa Martin (Federal Universityof Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
6. God is in the House: Nick Cave, Religion, and Serbian Fandom, Sabina Hadzibulic (Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden)
7. I'm your Messiah and you're the Reason why: Para-religiosity in the
fandom around Prince, Carla Schriever (University of Oldenburg, Germany)
Part Three: Cultures
8. My Pravoslavnye: Russkii rok, Orthodoxy and nationalism in post-Soviet Russia, David Emil Wickstroem (Popakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany)
9. "Can I Take My Dog With Me To Heaven?" Swedish Country music and religion, Thomas Bossius (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
10. Punk and religion in Indonesia, Jim Donaghey (Queen's University Belfast, UK)
11. Dylan goes to church: The use of Bob Dylan's music in Protestant churches, Andreas Hager (Abo Akademi University, Finland)
12. Theatre in Search of a Storyline: The DJ As "Technoshaman" in the digital age of EDM,
Melanie Takahashi (independent scholar)
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Review quote

The articles are in-depth and interesting ... The first chapter is a marvellous article by Eloisa Martin. Well-grounded in research, engaged and a really good topic about the Argentine cumbia singer Gilda who has a cult following that equals that of Elvis in its religiously coloured language and practices. * Nordic Journal of Religion and Society * [I]n moments of close attention to [the] evolving relationships and frontiers between social, cultural, and religious spheres that this book is most productive - both in contributing to the formation of a field of study, and as a topical theorization of an oft-overlooked cluster of contemporary cultural practices. * Swedish Journal of Music Research *
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About Andreas Häger

Andreas Hager is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Abo Akademi University, Finland.
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