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Imagining Jesus doing a Whole Lotta Shakin': Pentecostal worship, popular music and the politics of experience

Jennings, M. (2014) Imagining Jesus doing a Whole Lotta Shakin': Pentecostal worship, popular music and the politics of experience. Culture and Religion, 15 (2). pp. 211-226.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2014.911195
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Abstract

This paper commences with a brief outline of the history of the symbiotic relationship between popular music and Pentecostalism in the USA. While early rockers learned many of the techniques of ecstasy from Pentecostal worship, in recent times Pentecostal/charismatic songwriters and worship leaders have completed the circle, re-appropriating popular music forms for use in church. This is particularly the case in Australia, where Hillsong and Planetshakers have led the way in composing worship music using rock, pop and hip-hop forms. Drawing from ethnographic data from my own participant observation at an Australian Pentecostal church, I attempt to address the question Can the ecstatic encounter with God which is central to Pentecostalism be accessed in other, "unbaptized" (i.e. non-Christian) musical contexts? The ambivalence of responses from the members of Breakfree Christian church point to the fact that this is a political issue: at stake is the authority to determine which experiences are Christian, and which not.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright: © 2014 Taylor and Francis.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22739
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