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Palgrave Macmillan

The Counter-Narratives of Radical Theology and Popular Music

Songs of Fear and Trembling

ISBN 9781137394132
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Radical Theologies

Radical theology was and is a theology at home in the sweaty, profane world of rock 'n' roll. Both, when done properly, raise ever-urgent issues of existence and meaning, of taking the canon and rupturing it anew, re-making its resources against itself into a radical configuration with the here and now humanity finds itself in.

These essays, combining a varying obsession with theology and music that focuses on their complex relationships, are written by some of those who have experienced, heard, and seen 'a sight and sound' of radical theology. Provocative and personal, these scholars write about the everyday from a theologically-informed position, expressing what radical theologies might sound like in the twenty-first century.

Radical theology and rock 'n' roll offer a unique type of counter-narrative, which cries of deep value in a world of kitsch and cheap sentiment that aches for meaning in an easily-opiated world. This theology and rock of the post-war pop-music generation seeks to remake its traditions and possibilities to challenge its readers and listeners ever-fresh. It is in the sonic bibles of rock 'n' roll that the mundane, rebellious, and blasphemous are found full of Kierkegaardian fear and trembling.

Mike Grimshaw is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

1. Sonic Bibles and the Closing of the Canon: The Sounds of Secular, Mundane Transcendence?; Mike Grimshaw
2. My Affair with Ian; Jennifer K. Otter
3. In the Colony with Joy Division; Clayton Crockett
4. Sonic Stigmatas: Towards a New Fear and Trembling; Sophie Fuggle
5. Improvisation and Divine Creation: A Riff on John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme'; Sam Laurent
6. Protocols of Surrender | Stammering Along the Gothic Line; Joshua Ramey
7. Louis Armstrong: A Rhapsody on Repetition and Time; Jeffrey W. Robbins
8. I Know my Way from Here: Walking the Hutterite Mile with David Eugene Edwards; Eric Repphun
9. Meeting God in the Sound: The Seductive Dimension of U2's Future Hymns; Deane Galbraith
10. Praying the Confiteor at Westminster Abbey: Four-on-the Floor Apocalypse; Christopher D. Rodkey
11. Nick Cave and Death; Roland Boer
12. Combine Dry Ingredients, Mix Well: Constituting Worlds through Mix-tapes and Maxi-mixes: Chris Nichol
13. Why Kanye West Gets it Wrong: it's not 'Jesus walks' but 'Christ who is glimpsed'…(or how to think theologically in the modern city); Mike Grimshaw
14. Stop, Think, Stop; Daniel Colucciello Barber


Mike Grimshaw, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Jennifer K. Otter, University of London, UK
Clayton Crockett, University of Central Arkansas, USA
Sophie Fuggle, University of London, USA
Sam Laurent, Drew University, USA
Joshua Ramey, Haverford College, USA
Jeffrey W. Robbins, Lebanon Valley College, USA
Eric Repphun, Otago University, New Zealand
Deane Galbraith, Otago University, New Zealand
Christopher Rodkey, pastor of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, USA
Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, Australia
Chris Nichol, Director of Mixed Media Ltd.
Daniel Colucciello Barber, ICI Berlin, Germany

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