Punk Rock is My Religion

Straight Edge Punk and 'Religious' Identity

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Francis Stewart
  • New York, NY: 
    Routledge
    , June
     2017.
     188 pages.
     $149.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781472489661.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jason C. Bivins forthcoming.

Description

As religion has retreated from its position and role of being the glue that holds society together, something must take its place. Utilising a focused and detailed study of Straight Edge punk (a subset of punk in which adherents abstain from drugs, alcohol and casual sex) Punk Rock is My Religion argues that traditional modes of religious behaviours and affiliations are being rejected in favour of key ideals located within a variety of spaces and experiences, including popular culture. Engaging with questions of identity construction through concepts such as authenticity, community, symbolism and music, this book furthers the debate on what we mean by the concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘secular’. Provocatively exploring the notion of salvation, redemption, forgiveness and faith through a Straight Edge lens, it suggests that while the study of religion as an abstraction is doomed to a simplistic repetition of dominant paradigms, being willing to examine religion as a lived experience reveals the utility of a broader and more nuanced approach.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Francis Stewart grew up in Northern Ireland and discovered punk in her early teens (early 1990s) through the late, great John Peel, the not late but equally great Terri Hooley and the radio stations that came up Belfast loch. Punk was the perfect soundtrack to the environment. She left in the late 1990s to attend university in England, where she completed an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies and English Literature. This was followed by seven years as a high school teacher of religious studies, before returning in 2006 to complete her education. A Master’s in Theology at the University of Glasgow was followed by a doctoral thesis at the University of Stirling, where she combined her multiple interests and passions of punk rock, religion, anarchy and DIY communities. Since graduation she has worked part time in the religion department at Stirling.

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