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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the ways American mainline pastors, musicians, and laypeople navigate the divergent media economies of hymnody and popular music and accommodate both by creating multiple worship services—shared by a single congregation—that reflect the aesthetics and symbolic resonances of each repertoire. It does so using an ethnographic case study of a congregation in Nashville, Tennessee. The chapter argues that studies of the “worship wars” need to take into account these newly dominant ways of organizing multiple genre systems in a single congregation—characterized here as a kind of “cosmopolitanism”—particularly as they are practiced by churches in mainline denominations.

Keywords: white, Protestant, Presbyterian, mainline, gospel, contemporary worship music, hymnody, cosmopolitanism, symbolism, worship wars

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