Religion and Popular Music

God Gave Rock n’Roll to You…” – and the possibility to publish a paper on the topic of religion and popular music in the autumn issue 2020 of JRFM.

Stabat mater dolorosa...” – We understand popular music in a broad sense as music that is culturally relevant and distributed through other media (radio, television, LP, CDs, mp3, the internet, etc.). Popular music as one of many means of religious communication transmits not only emotions and a feeling of community but also religious knowledge. Knowledge that penetrated popular culture and left diverse traces in different times and places.

From “Kumbaya My Lord” to “Stairway to Heaven” – The way how we perceive melodies and lyrics with religious origin may have changed during the process of transmission and we may also use and sing them in other contexts but still, religion offers a broad field for musicians and music genres to deal with or refer to specific world views and traditions until today. Also the places where music is played or sung changed: Heavy Metal is played as worship music in churches, and Mantra or Gospel singers fill concert halls all over the world with their music. Questions like “How do globalization and the internet influence the transmission of traditional religious music?” or “Why do popular musicians often refer to religious motifs in their video clips?” arise and are worth being analyzed more closely to better understand the ways of (religious) communication and the potential of music as a media.

We are inviting scholars to submit articles that approach the field of religion and popular music from one of the following perspectives:

What if God Was One of Us” – Theoretical and/or methodological reflections on the interrelation between religion and popular music.

It’s a Kind of Magic” – Diachronic approaches that focus on the transformation of the impact, use, and forms of religious music across time.

Skyfall Is Where We Start” – Synchronic approaches that analyze the effects of religious songs, biblical lyrics or narratives in different cultures.

We are planning a multimedia issue and therefore explicitly ask for additional audio(-visual) material such as Youtube links, music video stills or recordings (commons).

It’s Never Too Late” – Submit your article (25,000-30,000 characters including spaces) online for peer review by March 2020 through the journal homepage We kindly ask authors to register. Publication is scheduled for November 2020. For any questions regarding the call for papers or the submission and publication process, please contact the office manager of JRFM (

The issue also has an open section for articles on other topics linked to the profile of JRFM.

We want you to rock our journal!

Interested? Visit our Facebook Page where you will find an audio-visual Call for Papers or click on this link to hear it.