Christian churches and groups within Anglo-American contexts have increasingly used popular music as a way to connect with young people. This book investigates the relationships between evangelical Christianity and popular music, focusing particularly on electronic dance music in the last twenty years. Author Stella Lau illustrates how electronic dance music is legitimized in evangelical activities by Christians’ discourses, and how the discourses challenge the divide between the ‘secular’ and the ‘sacred’ in the Western culture.
Unlike other existing books on the relationships between music cultures and religion, which predominantly discuss the cultural implications of such phenomenon, Popular Music in Evangelical Youth Culture examines the notion of ‘spirituality’ in contemporary popular electronic dance music. Lau’s emphasis on the sonic qualities of electronic dance music opens the door for future research about the relationships between aural properties of electronic dance music and religious discourses. With three case studies conducted in the cultural hubs of electronic dance music – Bristol, Ibiza and New York – the monograph can also be used as a guidebook for ethnographic research in popular music.