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Sounding Religious, Sounding Queer

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Finding Spaces of Reconciliation through Congregational Music

image of Ecclesial Practices

This paper explores the role music plays in ‘queer-identifying religious youth’ worship, including attitudes to ‘progressive’ and ‘traditional’ musical sounds and styles. It looks at approaches taken by inclusive non-denominational churches (such as the Metropolitan Community Church, mcc), to reconcile different, and at times conflicting, identities of its members. Focusing on ‘spaces of reconciliation’ we bring together the embodied experience of Christian congregational music with the ‘age appropriate’ temporality of modern music, to examine the complex relationship between age, music, faith and sexuality. Young queers did not always feel ill at ease with ‘tradition’ and in fact many felt pulled towards traditional choral songs and hymns. Embodied and affective responses to congregational music emerged in complex and multiple ways: faith infused creativity, such as singing practice, enables queer youth to do religion and Christianity and be a part of ‘sounding religious, sounding queer’.

Affiliations: 1: Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, lsbu,; 2: Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, LSBU,; 3: Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, LSBU,


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