Popular religious music as a tool for religious mediation

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Over the course of history, religion has proven its importance and pervasiveness in human interaction with their environment. This has led to people striving to understand this phenomenon by studying it. However, the study of religion has been dominated by one approach, which is the mentalistic approach. This approach stipulates that religion is a personal affair between an individual and the transcendental, which is devoid of all outer forms and material. An emerging field has started to propagate the need for viewing religion from different lenses and perspectives. The new field consist of a new approach to the study of Religion tagged as the materialistic approach to the study of religion. Several scholars have done various researches on religion using this approach to show the importance of using outer forms or materials in the expression of faith or religiosity. However, little research has been done on music as a material tool for religious mediation. This thesis seeks to feel that research gap by exploring the use of popular religious music as a tool for religious mediation. Through in-depth interviews with 8 participants, this research was able to establish popular religious music as sensational form; tangible or outward "things" that serves as a medium or means to connect to the transcendent, which is limited to the be the accepted belief of the religion.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2014
Ghana, music, religion, popular culture