University of Colorado at Boulder

Colloquia Event

Friday February 11, 2011. 03:30 pm. GUGG 205

Contemporary Christian Music and the Politics of Apolitics

John Lindenbaum

Colorado State University, Department of Anthropology

Contemporary Christian Music, the catch-all term for popular music that features evangelical Christian lyrics, is a useful lens through which to examine the complicated relationship between musical practices and the constitution of political dispositions. Contemporary Christian Music, known by its acronym CCM, is one of the most widely consumed forms of commercial entertainment for America's 70 to 80 million white evangelical Christians. After explaining how CCM is produced, both materially and symbolically, I explore how CCM accomplishes one of its many social effects; namely, the production of neoliberal subjects. I argue that Contemporary Christian Music reinforces a disengagement from so-called "politics" and consequently endorses neoliberal models of charity in the form of Christian NGOs.