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Postsecular punk: Evangelical Christianity and the overlapping consensus of the underground

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Utilizing interviews and fieldwork with Evangelical Christians involved in the punk scenes of Australia, Britain, South Africa and the United States, this article brings the study of the punk subculture into dialogue with key political theorists of the regulation of religiously diverse societies. Focusing on the work of the late American political philosopher John Rawls, furnished with more recent work by J├╝rgen Habermas, this article examines the processes of negotiated inclusion undertaken by Evangelical Christians in local punk scenes. Closely analyzing the acceptance of the contestability of religious claims, ‘translation’ between religious and secular discourses and modalities, and an ‘overlapping consensus’ on the desirability of diversity within the punk scene, it is argued that the negotiated inclusion of religiously diverse social actors in punk scenes can inform ongoing debates about diversity and inclusion in punk scenes’ ‘postsecular’ parent societies.

Keywords: Christianity; Rawls; popular music; postsecular; punk; religion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Helsinki

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • Punk & Post-Punk is a journal for academics, artists, journalists and the wider cultural industries. Placing punk and its progeny at the heart of inter-disciplinary investigation, it is the first forum of its kind to explore this rich and influential topic in both historical and critical theoretical terms.
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