No Sympathy for the Devil

Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism

By David W. Stowe

304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 12 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0687-3
    Published: February 2013
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7800-2
    Published: April 2011
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8591-3
    Published: April 2011

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In this cultural history of evangelical Christianity and popular music, David Stowe demonstrates how mainstream rock of the 1960s and 1970s has influenced conservative evangelical Christianity through the development of Christian pop music. The chart-topping, spiritually inflected music created a space in popular culture for talk of Jesus, God, and Christianity, thus lessening for baby boomers and their children the stigma associated with religion while helping to fill churches and create new modes of worship. Stowe shows how evangelicals' increasing acceptance of Christian pop music ultimately has reinforced a variety of conservative cultural, economic, theological, and political messages.

About the Author

David W. Stowe is professor of English and religious studies at Michigan State University.
For more information about David W. Stowe, visit the Author Page.


"Recommended. Most levels/libraries."--Choice

"Stowe offers a serious and impressive examination. . . . Anyone even remotely interested in American or religious studies will be captivated by this study."--Publishers Weekly

"The exploration of musical/social/political connections is perhaps the greatest strength of this well-written, carefully researched book. Stowe explains the early development of Christian pop and rock music more thoroughly than perhaps any other book available."--Library Journal starred review

"The real success story of political pop in recent history is the saga of Christian rock. . . Stowe follows Christian pop as it evolves from sound-tracking the left-leaning countercultural Jesus movement, with its saucer-eyed teen burnouts baptized in the surf of '60s Corona del Mar, California, to mobilizing Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and the Reagan Revolution."--Bookforum

"Stowe's engaging book makes an excellent contribution; I recommend it highly for both scholars and students."--Journal of American History

"A compelling spiritual biography of--and a vivid memory book for--the boomer generation . . . a rich source for further thought on America's nth Great Awakening."--Journal of Religion

Multimedia & Links

Read In a guest blog post, David W. Stowe provides an interview he conducted with Malcolm Magee covering the Jesus Movement and the role of music. Read "A Conversation about the Jesus Movement with Malcolm Magee"

ReadIn another guest blog post, Stowe recounts the experience of writing an op-ed piece for the New York Times. Read "From the Book to the Breakfast Table"