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Ecstatic Experience in Pentecostalism and Popular Music

Mark Jennings

Based on two richly described case studies – a Pentecostal worship service and popular music festival – this book draws on sociology, theology and religious studies in order to understand the significance of ecstatic experience in these contexts. Interviews with performers in both settings, together with detailed first person accounts of worship services and live performances, combine to create a picture of the role of music, performance and space in catalysing ecstasy. Drawing on the work of thinkers as diverse as Michel Foucault, Emile Durkheim, Victor Turner and Friedrich Schleiermacher, this book demonstrates that religious and non-religious disciplines, paradigms and understandings can work in a complementary fashion to help us understand the significance of phenomena such as music and ecstatic experience.
Ultimately, the argument put forward in the book is that ecstatic experience takes place in both religious and secular settings and is best understood by both theistic and non-theistic approaches, working together. The ecstatic experience common to both contexts is theorised as ‘proto-religious phenomena’ – the kernel from which religion may develop.
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There are so many people to thank, for both academic and personal support. Firstly, I would like to thank my supervisors, Dr David Palmer and Dr Alex Jensen, for guiding me through this process. Your insights and critique have been invaluable.

My thanks also are due to Dr Michael Stringer, who read this manuscript and offered much helpful advice with grammar and style. Mick rightly receives credit for much within that is lucid and legible, while I take the blame for whatever remains obscure or opaque.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer thanks to Benjamin Fröhlich of Peter Lang for his help in formatting the final work for publication.

The process of completing my thesis and subsequent drafting for publication has been both an exciting and very difficult time, for a number of reasons. For helping me though this time my thanks, in no particular order, goes to: Montag and Dr Jennifer Davis; Simone Boccia; Dr Rod Thiele; Max Hulls; Dr Robin Cullen; Misty Farquhar; Anna Byrne; Steve, Ranita, Saran, Kalan and Hannah Bicknell; Doug Hounslow; Dr Cecily Scutt; Christina Manfredi; Crystal O’Neill; Professor Michael Campion; Dr Farida Tilbury Fozdar; Dr Clare Johnson; Dr Angela McCarthy; Chas Philips; Dr Peter Elliott; Austin Munroe; Sam Rodwell; Warwick and Marilyn Jennings; Mark, Priya and Angel Senanayake; Maureen Jennings; Annalee Stearne; Russell and Tammie Willans; Stuart Hight; Scott Clowry; Stephen Day; Dr John Yates; Dr Lubica Učník and Laura...

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