Apostles of Rock : The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music by Jay R. Howard; John M. StreckApostles of Rock is the first objective, comprehensive examination of the contemporary Christian music phenomenon. Some see CCM performers as ministers or musical missionaries, while others define them as entertainers or artists. This popular musical movement clearly evokes a variety of responses concerning the relationship between Christ and culture. The resulting tensions have splintered the genre and given rise to misunderstanding, conflict, and an obsessive focus on self-examination. As Christian stars Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, DC Talk, and Sixpence None the Richer climb the mainstream charts, Jay Howard and John Streck talk about CCM as an important movement and show how this musical genre relates to a larger popular culture. They map the world of CCM by bringing together the perspectives of the people who perform, study, market, and listen to this music. By examining CCM lyrics, interviews, performances, web sites, and chat rooms, Howard and Streck uncover the religious and aesthetic tensions within the CCM community. Ultimately, the conflict centered around Christian music reflects the modern religious community's understanding of evangelicalism and the community's complex relationship with American popular culture.
Publication Date: 1999-06-01
Christotainment : Selling Jesus Through Popular Culture by Shirley R. Steinberg,Joe L.; Joe L. KincheloeFor more than two thousand years Christian expansion and proselytizing was couched in terms of'defending the faith'. Until recently in the United States, much of that defense came in the form of reactions against the'liberal'influences channeled through big-corporate media such as popular music, Hollywood movies, and network and cable television. But the election of Ronald Reagan as a Hollywood President introduced Christian America to the tools of advertising and multimedia appeals to children and youth to win new believers to God's armies. Christotainment examines how Christian fundamentalism has realigned its armies to combat threats against it by employing the forces it once considered its chief enemies: the entertainment media, including movies, television, music, cartoons, theme parks, video games, and books. Invited contributors discuss the critical theoretical frameworks of top-selling devices within Christian pop culture and the appeal to masses of American souls through the blessed marriage of corporatism and the quest for pleasure.
Gray Sabbath : Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock by Shawn David YoungFormed in 1972, Jesus People USA is an evangelical Christian community that fundamentally transformed the American Christian music industry and the practice of American evangelicalism, which continues to evolve under its influence. In this fascinating ethnographic study, Shawn David Young replays not only the growth and influence of the group over the past three decades but also the left-leaning politics it developed that continue to serve as a catalyst for change.Jesus People USA established a still-thriving Christian commune in downtown Chicago and a ground-breaking music festival that redefined the American Christian rock industry. Rather than join'establishment'evangelicalism and participate in what would become the megachurch movement, this community adopted a modified socialism and embraced forms of activism commonly associated with the New Left. Today the ideological tolerance of Jesus People USA aligns them closer to liberalism than to the religious right, and Young studies the embodiment of this liminality and its challenge to mainstream evangelical belief. He suggests the survival of this group is linked to a growing disenchantment with the separation of public and private, individual and community, and finds echoes of this postmodern faith deep within the evangelical subculture.
Publication Date: 2015-08-11
The Lyre of Orpheus : Popular Music, the Sacred, and the Profane by Christopher Partridge