Blue suede shoes to Doc Marten boots: music, protest and implicit religion

Stewart, F. and King, C. (2016) Blue suede shoes to Doc Marten boots: music, protest and implicit religion. Implicit Religion, 19 (1). pp. 95-118. ISSN 1463-9955

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This paper will focus on two seemingly disparate music based case studies―Elvis and punk rock―and their associated “religions.” An argument will be made that Elvis and “his religion” could be viewed as what is often represented as a traditional “Catholic” tradition with pilgrimages, flowers, candles, prayers and miracles (including resurrection). Ethics and charity work are undertaken as emulation or invocation of Elvis rather than a morally driven action or compulsion. Concurrently, punk music (in its various forms) could be viewed as what is traditionally represented as “Protestant” with its stringent self-reliance, rejection of hierarchy and questioning of authority, its crucial importance on questioning, action and black and white view of the world. Ethics form a key part of punk and are driven by strong morality and a desire to wrest change. However the dialogue between these two case studies (and indeed geographies of USA and UK) can be made all the more coherent and fruitful when structured through an Implicit Religion framework and thus stand in tribute to Edward Bailey and the partnerships he sought to create through Implicit Religion.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Elvis, Punk Rock, Popular Culture, Fans, Protest, Implicit Religion, Edward Bailey
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Francis Stewart
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 08:12
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:20

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