Journal Article

Sacred Words, Profane Music? The <i>Free Monks</i> as a Musical Phenomenon in Contemporary Greek Orthodoxy

Lina Molokotos-Liederman

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 65, issue 4, pages 403-416
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712322
Sacred Words, Profane Music? The Free Monks as a Musical Phenomenon in Contemporary Greek Orthodoxy

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The Free Monks (Eleftheroi) are a Greek Orthodox rock band of black-robed monks. Being the first of its kind in Greece, the group has produced popular musical albums and video clips with modern Greek and some English songs. Behind the attempt to modernize Greek Orthodoxy, revive popular religious life in Greece and enhance its appeal among young people, what is the social and religious significance of this musical group and a new type of Christian-Orthodox rock music? This paper explores the aesthetic aspects of this cultural phenomenon and analyzes the songs as a musical and secular expression of religious themes, looking closely at the music, as well as the accompanying vocals (lyrics in modern Greek) and visual effects (video clips). The group's means of self-promotion and dissemination (web site, publications, concerts, etc.), the appeal and resonance of this musical phenomenon in Greek society and its reception by the institution of the Church of Greece will also be examined.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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