What's This 'Religious' in Hip Hop Culture?
Keywords:AAR, Hip Hop, Play, Race, Music, Theory
At the 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion held in Atlanta, GA, a group of young scholars organized a wildcard session titled “What’s This ‘Religious’ in Hip Hop Culture?” The central questions under investigation by the panel were 1) what about hip hop culture is religious? and 2) how are issues of theory and method within African American religious studies challenged and/or rethought because of the recent turn to hip hop as both subject of study and cultural hermeneutic. Though some panelists challenged this “religious” in hip hop, all agreed that hip hop is of theoretical and methodological import for African American religious studies and religious studies in general. This collection of essays brings together in print many findings from that session and points out the implications of hip hop's influence on religious scholars' theoretical and methodological concerns.