Christian Popular Music in Central and Eastern Europe
Organized by MTA-SZTE ’Convivence’ Religious Pluralism Research Group
June 2-3, 2022 (University of Szeged, Hungary)
The analysis of religious processes in Central and Eastern Europe has been significantly enriched in recent decades. Along with contributions of the journal Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, there have been several pioneering monographs and groundbreaking edited volumes discovering the layers and characteristics of religious transformations from sociological (Tomka 2011, Pollack & Rosta 2017, Simpson & Aitamuurto 2014, Bubik & Hoffmann 2015), anthropological and ethnographical (Hann 2005, Valk & Bowman 2014, Pócs 2018), or interdisciplinary (Máté-Tóth 2018) perspectives in the region. Nevertheless, meaningful segments of contemporary religious transformations, including its artistic dimension, remained a grey spot for humanities and social scientific research. It is music out of other artistic forms that has always reacted the fastest in history to the ongoing cultural and social processes, still, the role of music in religious communities today or the emphasis on the role of sound in methodological epistemologies are still a terra incognita in the study of religions in Central and Eastern Europe. Although, this novel musicological approach to contemporary religiosity (Ingalls, Landau & Wagner 2013, Nekola & Wagner 2015, Ingalls 2018, Porter 2020) has flourished over the past decade, but in Central and Eastern Europe, it is considered a completely new perspective with some sporadic results (Povedák 2018). In our understanding, it is of crucial importance to connect the scientific study of congregations and raise awareness of religious musicking as a way to explore religious lifeworlds and emphasize the role of sound in methodological epistemologies.
Our conference sets the goal of exploring the diversity of religious transformations taking place in CEE through the lens of contemporary religious music. We particularly invite scholars (folklorists, anthropologists, theologians, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, historians, sociologists, religious studies researchers) who are interested in studying the ways in which modern, popular musical styles appeared in and outside of churches during the late 1960s onwards.
We invite contributions that cover any of the diverse topics below but other topics relating to modern congregational musicking are also welcome:
- How did the emergence of ’beat masses’ or ’guitar masses’ take place during communist/socialist times?
- How did the communist ideology react to the spread of new religious musical styles that marked religious modernization and was able to attract young people?
- Analysis and discussion on the worship wars/liturgical wars concerning the role of music.
- What was/is the reception of Christian popular music in church circles (clergy, church press) and among the faithful?
- The creation of new, modern congregational hymnodies in an Eastern European context.
- What are the characteristics of modern hymnodies? Reflections on the changes of Christian spirituality from traditional hymns to modern congregational songs.
- How do reactions to new social / cultural / religious processes appear in the lyrics of these modern hymnodies?
- Is there an ecumenical, transdenominational nature and use of Christian popular music?
- Ethnographies of religious rituals and festivals where Christian popular music is performed.
- The role of Christian popular music in pastoral care.
- Issues of canonization of the Christian popular music repertoire.
Contributions covering any Christian traditions are welcome.
Please, send a 300-word abstract and a 100-word short bio by February 20 to the following email: poveda...@gmail.com