Popular Music in Evangelical Youth Culture
By Stella Lau
Routledge – 2012 – 192 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Religion
Christian churches and groups within Anglo-American contexts have increasingly used popular music as a way to connect with young people. This book investigates the relationships between evangelical Christianity and popular music, focusing particularly on electronic dance music in the last twenty years. Author Stella Lau illustrates how electronic dance music is legitimized in evangelical activities by Christians’ discourses, and how the discourses challenge the divide between the ‘secular’ and the ‘sacred’ in the Western culture.
Unlike other existing books on the relationships between music cultures and religion, which predominantly discuss the cultural implications of such phenomenon, Popular Music in Evangelical Youth Culture examines the notion of ‘spirituality’ in contemporary popular electronic dance music. Lau’s emphasis on the sonic qualities of electronic dance music opens the door for future research about the relationships between aural properties of electronic dance music and religious discourses. With three case studies conducted in the cultural hubs of electronic dance music – Bristol, Ibiza and New York – the monograph can also be used as a guidebook for ethnographic research in popular music.
Introduction 1. The Historical Development of the Use of Popular Music in Christian Contexts 2. The Historical Background and Development of Alternative Worship 3. NGM in Bristol, England -- Popular Music, ‘Church Planting’ 4. 24-7 Mission on Ibiza, Spain -- Electronic Dance Music, Spirituality and Community 5. Artisan and Tribe in New York -- Network Sociality, Ambient Electronic Dance Music and Urban Contexts 6. Theorizing Religion and Popular Music Notes Bibliography Index
Stella Lau is Lecturer at Hong Kong Design Institute and has received two major scholarships from EMI Music Sound Foundation and University of Liverpool Graduates’ Association (Hong Kong) for her study. Her publications include a peer-reviewed journal article, ‘Churched Ibiza: Evangelical Christianity and Club Culture’ in Culture and Religion (2006, Spring Issue).