GIMC Country Music Videos

Apr 2

GIMC & Country Music Videos

Join GIMC at Vanderbilt for an analysis of religion in country music videos! 


PM 4

Streaming Video of the Presentation Professors James Hudnut-Beumler and James Byrd, who specialize in American religious history in the Divinity School, analyze country music videos with special attention to theological content in lyrics and religious imagery in video conception. The event concentrates on eight mainstream country music videos, most of which were released in the last five years.

                                                             (media streaming at 700K)                                

Video, Discussion, History, Theology

While locals know that Nashville offers much more than country music, many Americans recognize  Nashville primarily as the center of the country music industry, the home of the Grand Ole Opry, none other than "Music City USA." Obviously, therefore, no exploration of God in Music City would be complete without recognizing country music as a powerful communicator of religious themes in popular culture. And since popular culture is more visually oriented and technologically enhanced than ever, the music video is vital to the marketing and the overall experience of country music. Through music videos, artists and video directors can change the meaning of a song, adding extra layers of interpretation, or they can interpret a song literally. Either way, the expression of music through video communicates theologically in a way that a song alone cannot. This event will appeal to students, faculty, and a full variety of people in the music industry who are interested in an insightful study of visual religion in popular culture.

Facilitated by Dr. James Byrd and Dr. James Hudnut-Beumler  


James Byrd's research interests center on theology and biblical interpretation in American history, religion and war, and the history of Baptists in America. His course offerings include: Religion and War in American History History and Polity in the Baptist Tradition Theology in America, 1630-1865 The Puritan Movement in New England The Theology of Jonathan Edwards.

Ordained a minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in March 1987, Hudnut-Beumler was program associate of the Religion Division of the Lilly Endowment, Inc., from 1991 to 1993. He studied at Princeton University from 1984 to 1989, receiving both his master of arts and Ph.D. from the institution. From 1988 to 1991, he served as administrative director of the undergraduate program and lecturer in Public and International Affairs at The Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton. Earlier he spent a year as a lecturer in Princeton's Department of Religion.