Infinite Hospitality and the Redemption of Kitsch

Gavin Hopps

in Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646821
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744853 | DOI:
Infinite Hospitality and the Redemption of Kitsch

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This chapter is concerned with popular music and its significance for theology, in the light of David Brown's work on the subject in God and Grace of Body. The chapter begins with a consideration of the general status of pop music as an art-form within academia and challenges the pervasive but unexamined assumption that such music is intrinsically trivial. The chapter then offers an overview of Brown's groundbreaking theological examination of pop, rock and hip-hop, the underlying logic of which is revealed to be consonant with the Derridean principle of dissemination as well as Newman's notion of the illative sense. The second part of the chapter is concerned with possible developments, alternative approaches and potential dangers for theological engagement. In particular, it ponders the relevance for popular music of Jean-Luc Marion's conception of the ‘saturated phenomenon’, the literary-critical notion of ‘mouvance’, and Sontag's seminal account of camp. These different approaches, it is argued, may help to explain how pop music, in the words of Jacques Maritain, can give more than it has.

Keywords: David Brown; pop music; theology; kitsch; camp; sacramentality; semiosis

Chapter.  5736 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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