Rave Culture and Religion: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rave Culture and Religion

1st Edition

Edited by Graham St John


332 pages

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The collection provides insights on developments in post-traditional religiosity (especially 'New Age' and 'Neo-Paganism') through studies of rave's Gnostic narratives of ascensionism and re-enchantment, explorations of the embodied spirituality and millennialist predispositions of dance culture, and investigations of transnational digital-art countercultures manifesting at geographic locations as diverse as Goa, India, and Nevada's Burning Man festival. Contributors examine raving as a new religious or revitalization movement; a powerful locus of sacrifice and transgression; a lived bodily experience; a practice comparable with world entheogenic rituals; and as evidencing a new Orientalism. Rave Culture and Religion will be essential reading for advanced students and academics in the fields of sociology, cultural studies and religious studies.


"Rave Culture and Religion is a smart book collecting essays many by emerging scholars and graduate students who, in personally experiencing rave culture, find immediate and urgent applicability for the academic theories they are reading. To link rave and religion will hopefully prove shocking enough to the established academic study of religion to open new discussions about religion and popular culture. To link rave and sophisticated academic study will hopefully be shocking enough to a few ravers to lead them to see beyond a simple-minded fuzzy understanding of the power and importance of what they are experiencing." - Professor Sam Gill, University of Colorado at Boulder

Table of Contents

1. The Difference Engine: Liberation and the Rave Imaginary Graham St John

2. Ephemeral Spirit: Sacrificial Cyborg and Communal Soul Hillegonda C. Rietveld

3. Raptures: the 'Instituant' Religious Experience of Rave François Gauthier

4. 'Connectedness' and the Rave Experience: Rave as New Religious Movement? Tim Olaveson

5. The Flesh of Raving: Merleau-Ponty and the 'Experience' of Ecstacy James Landau

6. Entheogenic Dance Ecstasis: Cross-cultural Contexts Des Tramacchi

7. The 'Natural High': Altered States, Flashbacks and Neural Tuning at Raves Melanie Takahashi

8. Selecting Ritual: DJ's Dancers and Liminality in Underground Dance Music Morgan Gerard

9. Sounds of the London Underground: Gospel Music and Baptist Worship in the UK Garage Scene Ciaran O'Hagan

10. Gamelan, Techno-Primitivism and the San Francisco Rave Scene Gina Andrea Fatone

11. Techno Millennium: Dance, Ecology and Future Primitives Graham St John

12. Global Nomads: Techno and New Age as Transnational Countercultures in Ibiza and Goa Anthony D'Andrea

13. Hedonic Tantra: Golden Goa's Trance Transmission Erik Davis

14. Goa Trance and Trance in Goa: Smooth Striations Arun Saldanha

15. Dancing on Common Ground: Exploring the Sacred at Burning Man Robert V. Kozinets and John F. Sherry, Jr.

About the Editor

Graham St John is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Interactive Media and Production at the University of Regina, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, Universoty of Queensland. His book Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures will be published with Equinox in September 2009. His previous publications include the edited collection Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance (Berghahn 2008).

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion