Book, student collaborate
on 2004 journal article


An article by School of Communications faculty member Constance Book and Elon student Megan Livengood, "Watering Down Christianity? An Examination of the Use of Theological Words in Christian Music," appears the Journal of Media and Religion, Volume 3, No. 2.

Livengood is a 2003 Elon graduate. She and Book collaborated on the article during Livengood's senior year at Elon. Livengood is working for a small business in Raleigh while preparing to attend graduate school.

"Working with Megan was a professional joy," Book said. "Facilitating Megan's interest in Christian music and how lyrics in those songs create a frame of reference for Chrisitianity, was a thoughtful journey in knowledge and understanding for both of us. To also have that work recognized by peers and placed in a permanent form that will continue the academic debate is a validation of the important ideas born while mentoring undergraduate research."

The article "Watering Down Christianity?" details the examination of five years of successful Christian music to determine if there had been a significant change in the amount of theological language used in contemporary Christian songs.

The study spins off from a 1999 Wall Street Journal article in which the Christian music industry was accused of watering down its lyrics in an effort to increase profits. The coding of 100 of the top songs from 1996-2002 in the Christian Hit Radio and Rock genres found no systematic or significant decline in total theological words. However, an examination of the type of theological words used in lyrics demonstrated that words have become significantly less explicitly Christian.



Share your news and items of interest. To contact us, e-mail:
School of Communications 
2850 Campus Box 
Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
Last Modified:  10/31/04
Copyright Elon University