After a holiday hiatus (did you miss us?), The Avid Listener is back with a new feature essay to kick off 2016. Avid readers will remember that we introduce a new author–Joshua Busman–and a new framework–Religious Listening–before our hiatus. Today we bring you the 4th of the series, a study of music at a Passion Conference–an Evangelical Christian gathering–held in Atlanta 2 years ago. Josh uses Religious Listening as his frame once again, inviting us to think about gestural meaning within sacred and secular spaces.
Here’s a teaser: “On New Year’s Day 2013, I filed into the lower deck of the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, along with more than 65,000 young evangelical Christians from all over the United States. We were all there to attend a four-day concert known as the Passion Conference, one of a series of massive multi-day evangelical events that the Passion organization regularly convenes all over the world. Although they were founded only 15 years ago, the Passion Conference has rapidly become one of the most influential evangelical Christian groups on the planet. Events like the one in Atlanta regularly draw staggering numbers in Kiev, Tokyo, São Paulo, and Kampala. During the third night of the 2013 Passion event in Atlanta, the crowd was ecstatic to receive an unannounced performance from multi-platinum selling Christian rapper LeCrae. After performing several songs, LeCrae took a short break and addressed the crowd directly…”
Read the rest of the essay (and watch the LeCrae video) here. If you missed Josh’s other essays, you can find an essay about Nusret Fateh Ali Khan here, and another about religious themes in rock of the 1960s here.
We’ll resume our regular Monday schedule as of next week. Spoiler alert: fans of Downton Abbey will definitely want to tune in.
The Avid Listener: Listen. Write. Discuss. Repeat.