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Hillsong: A Megachurch in the Sydney Suburbs

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Abstract:

Religious belief and practice, especially Pentecostalism, are increasingly suburban phenomena in an otherwise more secular society. The megachurch of Hillsong in Sydney's north-western suburbs has recently grown rapidly, offering a distinct architecture, institutional structure and informal service format Protestantism generally, distinguished by its stadium show, prosperity preaching, overt materialist orientation and egalitarian populism. Diverse church social groups have partly replaced the civic social institutions never vibrant in suburbia, creating social capital and a new, more fluid sense of place. Hillsong exemplifies the globalisation of religion, while simultaneously stressing local ties, with contemporary media technology in a traditional theological and modern social context.

Keywords: Hillsong; Pentecostalism; Suburbia; globalisation; megachurch; privatisation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049180500325710

Affiliations: University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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