The ‘double controversy’ of Christian metal


  • Marcus Moberg Åbo Akademi University Author



Christian metal, Christian Youth Culture, evangelical popular music


The phenomenon of Christian metal music has always been precariously located on the borderline between the worlds of evangelical Christianity and metal music and culture. Ever since its inception in the early 1980s, Christian metal has provoked controversy in both of these often opposing camps for different yet closely related reasons. This article discusses the historical development of Christian metal in light of its ‘double’ controversies. Looking at contemporary discursive representations within today’s transnational Christian metal scene, the article also highlights how Christian metal culture has internalized its ‘doubly’ controversial character, making it key to an adequate understanding of the phenomenon of Christian metal as a whole.

Author Biography

  • Marcus Moberg, Åbo Akademi University

    Marcus Moberg is post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Comparative Religion at Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland. His main areas of expertise are religion, media and culture and the sociology of religion. He has published widely on Christian metal music, including his doctoral thesis Faster for the Master! Exploring Issues of Alternative Religious Expression and Identity within the Finnish Christian Metal Music Scene (Åbo Akademi University Press, 2009).


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How to Cite

Moberg, M. (2012). The ‘double controversy’ of Christian metal. Popular Music History, 6(1-2), 85-99.