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Rock Must Be a Theo-Political Force

Posted in: General,News Items,Politics by Tom Beaudoin on April 19, 2009

This recent CNN story is the tip of the iceberg on a conversation about rock and politics in Muslim contexts. The story brackets out almost all gestures toward the theological, but others are bringing them forward, however unevenly, like Mark LeVine’s Heavy Metal Islam and the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC3icYwYstg

We should have much more to say about this on this blog, given the at least occasional (some would say frequent and subterranean, others would say infrequent and happenstance) importance in the US of rock as a mystical-political influence. For myself, there is no point to a rock and theology coinhabitation if this mystical-political atmosphere of rock washes away in what is sometimes too quickly referred to as a mere “aestheticism.” A globalized rock and a globalized theology, seen in particular from the vantage of this blog’s “place” (as underwritten by a Catholic press, and populated thus far only by Christian theologians in the United States) cannot fail to find the agonism of rock, politics, and Islam an opportunity for learning and occasion for solidarity: musical, spiritual, political. I, for one, have yet to find out what that fully means, and anticipate learning much more.

Tom Beaudoin

Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

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