Congregational Music-Making and Community in a Mediated Age  book cover
1st Edition

Congregational Music-Making and Community in a Mediated Age

ISBN 9781138569010
Published October 12, 2017 by Routledge
280 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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.


’A valuable collection that throws new light on how new media technologies are interacting with the practices of Christian music-making, music-leadership and music-participation in congregational settings. It provides significant insights also into how these wider processes of cultural mediation taken up in congregational music are provoking a wider re-thinking and re-formation of Christian communities, beliefs and identity.’ Peter Horsfield, RMIT University, Australia ’Huge changes have occurred in Christian worship in the last fifty years. In the study of new and contemporary forms of worship, where would we be without the musicologists? Offering penetrating studies of contemporary changes, this volume is another welcome addition contributing to the study of Christian worship.’ Lester Ruth, Duke University, USA