The Seeker King by Gary Tillery–A Review

ElvisDorsey2

Gary Tillery’s The Seeker King: A Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley, published by Quest Books (an imprint of the Theosophical Society), presents the King as a life-long seeker, making a case that Elvis was more involved in seeking mystical wisdom from sources as diverse as the Self Realization Fellowship (already a well-known part of Elvis’s religious seeking, see Peter Guaralick’s exhaustive 2-volume biography of Elvis.) To Elvis lore, Tillery adds that Elvis also sought solace in the writi … [Read more...]

Nostalgia is the enemy of history–except when it’s not

Mandela

There are those rare moments of confluence--when history, nostalgia and a child's curiosity all conspire to ensure that my digging into my 80s musical treasures will be for not.My daughter, a precocious 11-year old told me a few days ago she wants to know what the 80s were like? I ignore the obvious feeling that I am OLD, and gleefully prepare Spotify lists hoping she will listen. Making mixed-tapes, the prerogative of every angsty teen was a speciality of mine--I took to making my daughter … [Read more...]

End of the Summer Musings

Voodoo Donut-Portland

Been doing lots of posts on culture and music—because sometimes you just have to unplug from the news. And it's summer! And it's now over...soPortland is a phenomenal city-vacationing there reminds me that the Northwest—a bastion of the “nones” is a great place to live. I got lots of writing done on lots of little projects- I'm happy about that! Things I'm less happy about: harassing children for singing the national anthem in Español. Classless hatred at its worst. Even more distur … [Read more...]

Remembering Elvis…and the Pentecostal War on Rock n Roll

ElvisGraceland

This is the anniversary of The King's death.  I've been to Graceland, and I must say that aside from the garishness of it all, it was moving to see the reverence folks have for him.  Most people know that Elvis had a religious background, and even recorded some pretty good gospel albums, what most do not know was that Elvis was a member of the Assemblies of God, and in his youth, was even an Ambassador for Christ--the Assemblies' youth ministry. In fixing up a long awaited chapter I am working o … [Read more...]

Outliers: Musings from Millennial Evangelicals

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Today's guest post is one of those posts that you find when you spend way too much time on Twitter and and realize that there are so many varied voices out there that are never voices that the media uses when they want to "analyze" evangelicalism, media types usually trot out the same old folks--and with the current obsession over why (white)  millennials are leaving churches--I thought it would benefit readers of this page to read one person's response--this was originally posted in her fine … [Read more...]

Journeys Through Pentecostal Subcultures: Sacred Steel pt 1

Sacred Steel

Today we're continuing to look at Pentecostal music on our summer journey.  This tradition is called sacred steel. Here's a sample of this exhilarating music--hope you enjoy this and the next few weeks installments!Sacred Steel is used mostly in the African American Pentecostal Church and is its own unique brand of American Folk Music--whether for worship or other types of performance, it is one of the most energetic and remarkable contributions to Pentecostal music history. It, like much of … [Read more...]

Journeys into the Pentecostal Subculture: Dress Codes Pt 2

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Continuing our trip through the Pentecostal subculture--particularly, the Oneness/Apostolic branches, many of whom still require adherence to dress codes for men as well as women, for women though, the focus is modesty, where for men, the focus seems to be professional dress. This promotional video is from a company whose tag line is "where fashion meets modesty."This video was put up a few days ago and offers tips on basics of Pentecostal wardrobe--for … [Read more...]


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