Submission Title

Living & Singing It Out: An Investigation of Contemporary Christian Music

Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Communication Arts/Rhetoric

Description

An analysis of the messages of three contemporary Christian music songs popular in the fall of 2014 was conducted using a method that integrated cluster and ideological rhetorical criticism. Working backwards from the songs to reconstruct the belief system that they express uncovered a creed that bears further exploration in both rhetorical and theological fields. This study revealed the prevalence of “Christian-ese” ideographs—words imbued with special religious meaning—in these top songs. Such terms effectively limit the audience to those within the evangelical Christian co-culture who already understand such references. Awareness of this reality is critical, both to groups making Christian music and to the individual consumers who listen to it.

The paper upon which this poster was based was written for the Senior Seminar course in Communication Arts. The paper was competitively selected for presentation at the Northwest Communication Association Conference in April 2015, where the author received the award for the Top Undergraduate Paper.

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Living & Singing It Out: An Investigation of Contemporary Christian Music

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

An analysis of the messages of three contemporary Christian music songs popular in the fall of 2014 was conducted using a method that integrated cluster and ideological rhetorical criticism. Working backwards from the songs to reconstruct the belief system that they express uncovered a creed that bears further exploration in both rhetorical and theological fields. This study revealed the prevalence of “Christian-ese” ideographs—words imbued with special religious meaning—in these top songs. Such terms effectively limit the audience to those within the evangelical Christian co-culture who already understand such references. Awareness of this reality is critical, both to groups making Christian music and to the individual consumers who listen to it.

The paper upon which this poster was based was written for the Senior Seminar course in Communication Arts. The paper was competitively selected for presentation at the Northwest Communication Association Conference in April 2015, where the author received the award for the Top Undergraduate Paper.