Music 'is replacing religion' says academic
Music and DVDs are replacing religion as the focus for public devotion, a leading academic has said.
Listening to music, regular film watching and “devoted” viewing of DVD box sets are becoming the “spiritual disciplines” of the day, according to Dr Clive Marsh of the University of Leicester.
Internet fan sites are used as a form of worship, while people use music to explore the philosophical and ethical issues of the modern world, he said.
Dr Marsh, who has studied the relationship between religion and popular culture for 15 years, is conducting a study of the importance music in people’s lives.
“You see lots of people listening to their iPods seemingly caught up in their own private worlds,” he said.
“I am interested in the ways in which people consume music – what are they doing with it?”
An online survey designed by Dr Marsh has been completed by 200 people so far across Britain and the USA. The findings will be published later this year.
Dr Marsh began the study by examining the way fans of U2 interact with the Irish rock band and their music.
He believes that online fan communities form “not just to talk about music, TV or film, but to reflect on how their listening and viewing habits inform their living and help them develop their philosophical, religious, political or ethical commitments.”