In this unique book, David Fillingim explores country music as a mode of theological expression. Following the lead of James Cone's classic, "The Spirituals and the Blues, Fillingim looks to country music for themes of theological liberation by and for the redneck community. The introduction sets forth the book's methodology and relates it to recent scholarship on country music. Chapter 1 contrasts country music with Southern gospel music--the sacred music of the redneck community--as responses to the question of theodicy, which a number of thinkers recognize as the central question of marginalized groups. The next chapter "The Gospel according to Hank," outlines the career of Hank Williams and follows that trajectory through the work of other artists whose work illustrates how the tradition negotiates Hank's legacy. "The Apocalypse according to Garth" considers the seismic shifts occuring during country music's popularity boom in the 1980s. Another chapter is dedicated to the women of country music, whose honky-tonky feminism parallels and intertwines with mainstream country music, which was dominated by men for most of its history. Written to entertain as well as educate and advance, "Redneck Liberation will appeal to anyone who is interested in country music, Southern religion, American popular religiosity, or liberation theology.
Publisher: Mercer University Press