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PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, RELIGION (oxfordre.com/religion). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 October 2020

Music and Religion in American Public Lifelocked

  • Jason C. BivinsJason C. BivinsNC State University

Summary

Music in American public life is best understood not simply as the formal arrangement of religious texts in sound but as a fluid arena of exchange between performers, participants, and audiences. In these exchanges we note the transformation of religious traditions themselves, as they navigate contact with their others and the challenges of public life or secularism; we also see the emergence of American religious musics as alternate publics themselves, in which new understandings of authority, tradition, and identity are negotiated. What is more, in recent decades American genre music—from jazz to hip-hop—has become a steady arena in which new forms of religiosity are proposed and debated.

Subjects

  • Religion and Art, Literature, and Music
  • Religious Studies

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