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
Part 1. Technology, Place and Practice
1. Music as a Mediated Object, Music as a Medium: Towards a Media Ecological View of Congregational Music
2. Music, Ritual and Media in Charismatic Religious Experience in Ghana
3. Panoptic or Pastoral Gaze? The Worship Leader in the New Media Environment
4. Who Gets to Sing in the Kingdom?
Part 2. Community Creation
5. ‘This is a Chance to Come Together’: Subcultural Resistance and Community at Cornerstone Festival
6. ‘Through Every Land, By Every Tongue’: Diasporic and National Consciousness Among a Transnational Community of Sacred Harp Singers
7. YouTube: The New Mediator of Christian Community
8. Belonging, Integration and Tradition: Mediating Romani Identity Through Pentecostal Praise & Worship Music
Part 3. Embodied Sonic Theologies
9. On the Inherent Contradiction in Worship Music
10. ‘Yet to Come’ or ‘Still to Be Done’?: Evangelical Worship and the Power of ‘Prophetic’ Songs
11. Happiness and Music: Salvific Practice in a Feelgood Age
12. The Dance + Pray Worship Experience in Finland: Negotiating the Transcendent and Transgressive in Search of Alternative Sensational Forms and Affective Space
Afterword: Of Animatrons and Eschatology: Congregational Music, Mediation and World-Making
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