1st Edition

Congregational Music-Making and Community in a Mediated Age

Edited By Anna E. Nekola, Tom Wagner Copyright 2015
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    278 Pages
    by Routledge

    Congregational music can be an act of praise, a vehicle for theology, an action of embodied community, as well as a means to a divine encounter. This multidisciplinary anthology approaches congregational music as media in the widest sense - as a multivalent communication action with technological, commercial, political, ideological and theological implications, where processes of mediated communication produce shared worlds and beliefs. Bringing together a range of voices, promoting dialogue across a range of disciplines, each author approaches the topic of congregational music from his or her own perspective, facilitating cross-disciplinary connections while also showcasing a diversity of outlooks on the roles that music and media play in Christian experience. The authors break important new ground in understanding the ways that music, media and religious belief and praxis become ’lived theology’ in our media age, revealing the rich and diverse ways that people are living, experiencing and negotiating faith and community through music.

    Introduction: Worship Music as Media Form and Mediated Practice: Theorizing the Intersections of Media, Music and Lived Religion

    Anna E. Nekola

    Part 1. Technology, Place and Practice

    1. Music as a Mediated Object, Music as a Medium:

    Towards a Media Ecological View of Congregational Music

    Tom Wagner

    2. Music, Ritual and Media in Charismatic Religious Experience in Ghana

    Florian Carl

    3. Panoptic or Pastoral Gaze? The Worship Leader in the New Media Environment

    Tanya Riches

    4. Who Gets to Sing in the Kingdom?

    Ruth King Goddard

    Part 2. Community Creation

    5. ‘This is a Chance to Come Together’: Subcultural Resistance and Community at Cornerstone Festival

    Andrew Mall

    6. ‘Through Every Land, By Every Tongue’: Diasporic and National Consciousness

    Among a Transnational Community of Sacred Harp Singers

    Ellen Lueck

    7. YouTube: The New Mediator of Christian Community

    Daniel Thornton and Mark Evans

    8. Belonging, Integration and Tradition: Mediating Romani Identity Through Pentecostal Praise & Worship Music

    Kinga Povedák

    Part 3. Embodied Sonic Theologies

    9. On the Inherent Contradiction in Worship Music

    Allan F. Moore

    10. ‘Yet to Come’ or ‘Still to Be Done’?: Evangelical Worship and the Power of ‘Prophetic’ Songs

    Josh Busman

    11. Happiness and Music: Salvific Practice in a Feelgood Age

    Clive Marsh

    12. The Dance + Pray Worship Experience in Finland: Negotiating the Transcendent and Transgressive in Search of Alternative Sensational Forms and Affective Space

    Marcus Moberg

    Afterword: Of Animatrons and Eschatology: Congregational Music, Mediation and World-Making

    Monique M. Ingalls


    Anna E. Nekola is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University, teaching in the departments of Music and Communication, as well as the Queer Studies Program. Her work appears in Popular Music; The Journal of the Society for American Music; Mediating Faiths: Religion and Socio-Cultural Change in the Twenty-First Century (Ashgate 2011); Christian Congregational Music: Performance, Identity and Experience (Ashgate 2013); The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology; The New Grove Dictionary of American Music; and The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities. Tom Wagner is a teaching fellow at the Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh. His work appears in The Australian Journal of Communication; Journal of World Popular Music; Religions as Brands: New Persepctives on the Marketization of Religion and Spirituality(Ashgate 2014); and Religion in Times of Crisis (2014). He is also co-editor of Christian Congregational Music: Performance, Identity and Experience (Ashgate 2013) with Monique Ingalls and Carolyn Landau.

    "In sum, this volume is a valuable addition to the literature on media-driven religious transformation refracted through the field of congregational music making, not least because of the ethnographic richness and multidisciplinary voices it offers. ... [F]or those interested in exploring some recent trends in studying sounded Christian practices, this is an inspirational read." -- Ying Diao, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity