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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Against reductive understandings of textualism, this chapter argues that substantive reckoning with the Bible and music in American history reveals the text’s generativity. Examined here is the interaction between the Bible and various musical forms ranging from hymns to classical music to rap and hip hop. Interweaving broad American religious concerns with identity, community, and power, the Bible’s musical settings and expressions in history are varied and challenging. Across their range, one sees how the conjoined musical and textual imaginations of Americans force a reconsideration of embodied musical creativity, the sensorium of American religions, performance of central religious themes and preoccupations, and religious audiences and publics.

Keywords: creative mimesis, hymnody, interpretation, materiality, performance, popular music, public sphere, senses, textualism

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