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Christianity and Heavy Metal as Impure Sacred within the Secular West:

Transgressing the Sacred

Jason Lief


Released: June 13, 2017
Lexington Books
Retail Price
: $104.99
Length: 142 pages
Binding: Hardback
ISBN: 978-1498506328

Jason Lief’s Christian account of metal is thoughtful, creative, and impassioned. It will teach metal fans about new ways to make Christian sense of this music, and teach Christians new permissions for headbanging.

—Tom Beaudoin
Associate Professor of Theology, Fordham University

This book explores the symbolic connections between Christianity and Heavy Metal music in the context of the secular West. Heavy Metal uses symbols and imagery taken from Christianity, even if the purpose is to critique religion. This usage creates a positive connection with an interpretation of Christianity as a form of cultural critique. Given that Metal and Christianity are associated with Western culture, this book explores how Christianity and Heavy Metal function within the context of secularity as a form of ideological critique. Using the ideas of Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Charles Taylor as a starting point, this book explores the religious nature of secularism in the West interpreted in the immanent processes of politics and economics. In this connect, both Christianity and Heavy Metal provide a cultural critique through images of death, the grotesque, and sacrifice. By bringing this religious interpretation of secularism into conversation with the ideas of Georges Batailles, Slavoj Žižek, and Jürgen Moltmann, this book will demonstrate the positive relationship between Christianity and Heavy Metal.


Jason Lief

Jason Lief teaches in the Religion department at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Originally from Willmar, Minnesota, he grew up listening to Twins games on the radio and watching the Minnesota Vikings on TV. His writing explores the connections between faith and popular culture, specifically focusing on the different ways people make meaning out of their lived experience. Jason is married to his wife Tamara and they have three children—Naomi, Christian, and Savannah.