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date: 24 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the theological and marketing currents that since the late 1990s have characterized “worship” as “lifestyle,” moving “worship” from the collective and noncommercial domain of church into a set of commodities, including music, that can be purchased and consumed individually in private domains, like one’s car or house. It identifies a tension within evangelical discussions of this trend, in which some commentators see the trend as a “worship awakening,” and others see it as a threat to the authority of the church and to individual faith. The chapter argues that this trend suggests new nuances, shifts, and overlaps in the relationship between “sacred” and “secular” within American evangelicalism—shifts scholars of religion must be careful to observe, rather than oversimplifying or reifying the sacred-secular binary.

Keywords: evangelical, contemporary worship music, praise and worship, worship wars, worship, commodity, sacred, secular, theology, lifestyle

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