Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US (Bloomsbury Studies in Religion and Popular Music)

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9781472509079: Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US (Bloomsbury Studies in Religion and Popular Music)
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Now a global and transnational phenomenon, hip hop culture continues to affect and be affected by the institutional, cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of American society and beyond. Over the past two decades, numerous disciplines have taken up hip hop culture for its intellectual weight and contributions to the cultural life and self-understanding of the United States. More recently, the academic study of religion has given hip hop culture closer and more critical attention, yet this conversation is often limited to discussions of hip hop and traditional understandings of religion and a methodological hyper-focus on lyrical and textual analyses.

Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the Terrain provides an important step in advancing and mapping this new field of Religion and Hip Hop Studies. The volume features 14 original contributions representative of this new terrain within three sections representing major thematic issues over the past two decades. The Preface is written by one of the most prolific and founding scholars of this area of study, Michael Eric Dyson, and the inclusion of and collaboration with Bernard 'Bun B' Freeman fosters a perspective internal to Hip Hop and encourages conversation between artists and academics.

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About the Author:

Monica R. Miller is Assistant Professor of Religion & Africana Studies, Director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Lehigh University, USA.

Anthony B. Pinn is Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, Professor of Religious Studies, and Director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) at Rice University, USA.

Bernard "Bun B" Freeman is an American rapper, songwriter and CERCL Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Rice University, USA.

Review:

“A great series of essays destined to advance and expand the field of hip-hop and religion. This collection belongs on the shelves of hip-hop heads and religious scholars alike.” – Princeton Theological Seminary

"Religion in Hip-Hop is an effort of immense freshness and allure, penned in bold, challenging prose. This book will excite those readers who are intrigued by what resides at the center and prowls at the edges of an important field of study. This book is highly recommended." - Religious Studies Review

Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US showcases a new approach to the burgeoning discourse on hip-hop and religion in the academy ... In short, all of the writers in this volume have stretched themselves to give insight into the academic study of hip-hop in religion, opening up several streams of discourse for the reader to build on as they take it upon themselves to continue this new tradition of critical approaches to one of the most influential and infectious subgenres of the past century.” – Reading Religion

“Reading these essays reminded me of the pleasure of reading the provocative labels in wine stores: you feel language stretching beyond itself to coax and caress, to capture what it can of the elusive substance that you want more than anything to taste. How wonderful that academic discourse can seduce us into the complexity of music and the broad vision of hip hop, a wine that rewards bold thinking.” ―David Morgan, Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Duke University, USA

“The field of Hip Hop Studies is ever growing, especially in the area of religion. What Miller and Pinn do in Religion and Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US, is to offer a valuable contribution to both scholars and practitioners in the field. This volume provides us with with a much needed understanding of how religion functions within hip hop. A must for any Hip Hop and Religion course!.” ―Andre E. Johnson, Dr. James L. Netters Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Religion and African American Studies, Memphis Theological Seminar, USA

“Miller and Pinn's collaborative contribution points the burgeoning study of hip hop and religion toward a bold and new trajectory of methodological innovation, theoretical sophistication, and thematic clarity. The groundbreaking implications of this work will take many years to unfold.” ―Shayne Lee, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Houston, USA, and author of Tyler Perry's America: Inside His Films (2015)

“Hip Hop is being dissected daily. With Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US I am proud to see it being intelligently examined by one who has risen from its underground.” ―David Banner, rapper and record producer, USA

“Hip Hop has always been and will always be a conversation with the community it came from, and spirituality is at the center of this conversation. From rappers who call themselves God due to the Five Percenters' influence to those who wear Jesus chains, the eternal questions that religion and spirituality have tried to answer have always been asked by the Hip Hop community. Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping The New Terrain in the US highlights and examines the language of religion in hip hop that can easily be missed.” ―Talib Kweli Greene, rapper and record producer, USA

“In spite of its ubiquity, Hop Hop remains a misunderstood dimension of contemporary culture. No more son than in relation to religion, where its connections are rich, layered, and compelling. Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US addresses this situation through careful research, smart and compelling conceptual work, and thorough historical and cultural analysis. Scholarly and lay discourses about religion and media will be richer for its efforts.” ―Stewart Hoover, Professor of Media Studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Scholars of religion, historians, cultural critics, social scientists, and scholars of American religion should welcome this much-needed text for both its admirable execution and its groundbreaking contributions to the study of hip-hop and religion. Miller, Pinn, and Freeman have set the proverbial table for others to explore the rich rhetorical worlds of hip-hop, rap music, and religion.” –L. Benjamin Rolsky, H-Net

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