New Books Network

I was immediately drawn to the book The Devil’s Music by Dr. Randall Stephens, Associate Professor of British and American Studies at the University...

I was immediately drawn to the book The Devil’s Music by Dr. Randall Stephens, Associate Professor of British and American Studies at the University of Oslo. Dr. Stephens and I came across one another online and the book, which combines part rock n’ roll history, part American Christianity history, was an absolute delight for me. The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock n’ Roll out now from Harvard University Press (2018), tells the story of how my experiences with rock music in the 1990’s came to be. From the inside cover of the book, “When rock n’roll emerged in the 1950’s, ministers denounced it from their pulpits and Sunday school teachers warned of the music’s demonic origins. The big beat, Billy Graham believed, was “ever working in the world for evil.” Yet by the early 2000s Christian rock had become a billion-dollar industry. The Devil’s Music tells the story of this transformation. Enjoy our conversation.


Greg Soden is the host “Classical Ideas,” a podcast about religion and religious ideas. You can find it on iTunes here