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Music, Branding and the Hegemonic Prosumption of Values of an Evangelical Growth Church

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggests that a productive way to engage with growth oriented evangelical Christianity and the present socio-historical moment is through branding, and "prosumption of values". It discusses that how participants engage with Hillsong's music, musicians and branding. The chapter offers branding and prosumption as useful theoretical starting points for studying the relationship between growth churches, late-capitalism, and neoliberalism, and presents Hillsong Church's musical branding as an example of a growth church. It presents two of Hillsong's "celebritized" worship leaders, former Worship Pastor Darlene Zschech and current Worship Pastor Reuben Morgan, as mediated proxies for the Protestant dilemma of how to live "in but not of the world", which in modernity is articulated as a dialogue between consumer values and spiritual authority vis-à-vis celebrity culture. The chapter concludes by suggesting that branding and prosumption afford participants a "pragmatic discursivity" with which they orient meaning- and self-making, vis-à- vis the brand.

Keywords: Church; evangelical Christianity; Hillsong; late-capitalism; modernity; neoliberalism; prosumption



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