[UPDATED DEADLINE] Essays for a collection on Rock and Religion

full name / name of organization: 
Alex DiBlasi and Robert McParland, PhD.

Call for Proposals: Saints, Sinners, and Seekers: A Collection of Essays on Rock and Religion


The aim of this book is to explore the relationship between religion/spirituality and rock music. Much has been written on the history of religious music itself, but not much exists on the role religion and spirituality have played in popular song. Music itself has long been considered a spiritual and even meditative practice; this book seeks to investigate rock music as an expression of religious inquiry, religious devotion, and even as a religious experience itself. From the rise of the American Evangelical movement to the widespread introduction of Eastern philosophies in the West, the past century has seen a radical change in the religious makeup of Western culture. Rock artists across the world have incorporated both new and old religious beliefs into their work, and it is our aim to take a similarly ecumenical approach with the essays in this book, covering a wide range of philosophies and belief systems. Scholars from a variety of backgrounds – music, religious studies, cultural studies, anthropology – are encouraged to submit for this volume.

Contributors are encouraged to consider addressing any number of the following in their submissions:

• Comparative Religion/World Religions
• The appearance of religion or spirituality in the work of major rock artists and their spiritual journeys – conversion, life changes, etc.
• Wonder and a sense of the Divine
• Seeking transcendence
• Relationships between music/rock music and religion (i.e., the "God Rock" movement of the 1970's, the Hare Krishna movement, etc.)
• Heavy Metal and organized religion
• Seeking and spiritual exploration
• Millenialism, Apocalypticism
• The Quiet, Meditation, Contemplation and Music
• Mythology
• Mystery
• Salvation
• Values of Respect, Diversity, Charity, Love, Compassion, Hope, Faith, Justice, Wisdom, Kindness, Care
• Parables
• Community
• Prayer
• Prophecy
• The Afterlife (Heaven and Hell, Reincarnation)
• Celebration
• Ecstasy
• Rock and Ritual
• Charism
• Rock drawing upon black Gospel spirituals
• Psalms
• Peace/Shanti/Shalom
• Rock Music and Religious Dialogue
• Theodicy (that is, explaining suffering under a good God)
• Soul
• Karma
• Musical Pilgrimages (Liverpool, Memphis/Graceland, Haight-Ashbury)
• The Divine/Holy Spirit/Great Spirit
• Angels/Angelic visions
• Atonement
• Haggadah: religious storytelling
• Songs that quote religious scripture (the Bible, the Tao, Bhagavad Gita, Koran, etc.)
• Lamentations (songs for a broken world, modern chants of misery like those in the Hebrew Bible)
• Miracles

A few parameters:

• The plan is for this book to principally address the relationship between rock and religion. We ask that subjects be explicitly tied to rock music.
• It is the aim of both editors to include essays addressing all major world religions.
• As such, we also ask that potential contributors write as objectively as possible, avoiding dogmatic statements, agendas, or arguments with specific religious paths.

Essays can run anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 words. Contributors should use MLA format. Avoid using quotes from song lyrics. Figures, photos, and illustrations are not recommended unless you can provide a high-resolution image for which the rights have also been cleared.

Please submit a 200-word abstract as a Word file (either .doc or .docx) by October 15, 2014, along with a current CV.

Any further questions, please feel free to contact either of the editors of this book:

Robert P. McParland, PhD.
Felician College
mcparlandr (at) felician (dot) edu

Alex C. DiBlasi, MA
Independent Scholar
alexcharlesdiblasi (at) gmail