At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Monday, April 12, 2004


Howard, Jay R. and John M. Streck. Apostles of Rock: The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music. Kentucky, $25.

Choice: “A groundbreaking, inclusive, carefully reasoned, and thoroughly objective study.” Religious Studies Review: “Offers the finest analysis to date of the CCM art world and its several subcultures.” Sojouners: “Has much to offer in the way of articulating a thorough cultural analysis of the fragmented reality of CCM.” Church History: “The book is comprehensive and well-researched; the concluding chapter is very strong. The authors interleave the chapters with descriptions of CCM performances, but these accounts are wooden and formulaic, a clumsy attempt to liven up an analysis that, like much of the music they describe, comes off as a trifle too predictable.” Sociology of Religion: “The strength of Apostles of Rock lies in its emphasis on discourse…Howard and Streck construct categories that are firmly grounded in the practices of the CCM world…While the analysis of CCM as an ‘art world’ is useful for understanding how CCM participants give meaning to their activities, it fails to locate contemporary Christian music within a larger historical and social context.…Further, Howard and STreck make few explicit ties to sociological theory beyond Becker’s (1982) Art Worlds….Apostles of Rock offers a thorough description of the art world of contemporary Christian music. First Things: “quite helpful…[Howard and Streck] are too quick to dismiss those critics who argue that the aesthetics of rock cannot be intelligently combined with Christian lyrics…It also would have been useful for these writers to consider C-Pop within the broader context of niche-driven evangelicalism.” Journal of Southern History: “thoughtful…In the late twentieth century, conservative evangelical Christains participated actively and with partial success in the politics of a secular world, which they sought to transform into their own image. The thoughtful analyses and conclusions in Apostles of Rock are thus invaluable to historians and other scholars who attempt to understand the dynamics of that political upheaval, particularly in the modern South.”


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