The Future of Contemporary Christian Music
Many young Christian musicians now avoid being pigeonholed by the CCM category. As inheritors of the culture war, these are skeptical persons of faith (if even evangelical) who hope to offer their own voice in the midst of millions -- though not confined by what are viewed as the trappings of an industry built on false dualism and money.
CCM was once needed as young Jesus freaks set out to change the world -- one that would not offer them record contracts. The result was a parallel universe that has outlived its reason for being. In the end, the future of CCM is linked to the future of two monoliths: the music industry and evangelicalism. What we see developing are nascent models of artistic expression (inspired by faith) that may very well be classified by style and not worldview.
Shawn David Young is a socio-cultural historian. Having taught in the contemporary Christian music program at Greenville College, Illinois, he developed an interest in the connections between music, religious belief, politics, and the music industry. Selected publications include two forthcoming chapters in Cult Pop Culture with Praeger, one forthcoming chapter in Culture/Counter-culture: Festivals and Faires in America with Edwin Mellen Press, a chapter in September 11 in Popular Culture with Greenwood Press, a forthcoming article in the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, and entries on dystopian communities, Christian rock, and the history of rock ‘n' roll in ABC-CLIO's World History Encyclopedia. Young is the area chair for subculture with the Midwest Popular Culture Association, is a contributing news editor for Religion Compass Exchanges, an online journal from Wiley-Blackwell, and is working with David W. Stowe and Jim Jabara on a documentary film that explores the connections between early Christian rock music and the Religious Right. Young is currently finishing his Ph.D. at Michigan State University.