popular music

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the existing extradition laws that would allow the Chinese government to take suspects from Hong Kong [...]

Liturgy and the Dance Band on the Titanic

I'm in the dance band on the Titanic Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee" The iceberg's on the starboard bow Won't you dance with me.                   ∼ Harry Chapin, 1977 Back in the late 1970s, when I was an impressionable young lad, I was introduced to the [...]

The Most Religious Singer-Songwriter of the past 50 Years

“You’re not making Christianity better, you’re just making rock n’ roll worse.” ∼ Hank Hill on “Christian Rock” from King of the Hill There are these musical artists who have done some religious music or who have moved from gospel to mainstream or who have dabbled in it, but there is someone else who is not [...]

Madonna, the Archbishop, and the Duty of the Art Patron

Madonna's Rebel Heart tour has come and gone from Singapore, but in her wake she left a hanging question not only about the responsibility of artists in today's culture, but also the responsibility of those who patronize the arts. Fans in Singapore paid anywhere from $150 to $1784 U.S. dollars for the opportunity to see [...]

A Misplaced Grief: The Vatican and David Bowie

In proof of Chesterton’s dictum that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly, I pound away at the piano playing the easier Chopin Nocturnes and I grind on my violin with a confidence only an amateur can flaunt. So I am not innocent of music.  I appreciate the emotive post-war French [...]

Pop Music as a Bridge to God?: Engaging Christopher West

 On the one hand, there is pop music … aimed at the phenomenon of the masses, is industrially produced, and ultimately has to be described as a cult of the banal. "Rock," on the other hand, is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, [...]

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