Jesus rocks! Popular culture in religion

This line of inquiry investigates how young evangelicals use popular culture in identity practices. Religious youth cultures are globally abound, yet studies on them are rare. Evangelicals have created a niche in popular culture, for instance by offering Christian contemporary music as an alternative to the ‘mainstream’ popular artists they often condemn. Employing a subcultural approach, I examine popular culture as a performance practice (Duits, 2008).

The project consists of multiple case studies. The first case centres on the EO-Jongerendag. Capitalizing on religious popular music, this yearly stadium event connects worship to popular culture and attracts over 30.000 young Christian people. The material comes from participant observation at the event, expert interviews with organizers, in-depth interviews with attendees, and a content analysis of two website.

The second case focuses on the Christian rock scene in Amsterdam and the Dutch perifery. The data consist of participant observation at concerts and other venues, in-depth interviews with musicians and fans and a content analysis of promotional materials.