Book launch: The Devil's Music

"Stephens wants us to think of rock and Christianity not as enemies but as siblings engaged in a family dispute." Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker. Welcome to the launch of Randall Stephens' new book The Devil's Music. How Christians Inspired, Condemned and Embraced Rock 'n' Roll.

When rock ’n’ roll emerged in the 1950s, ministers denounced it from their pulpits and Sunday school teachers warned of the music’s demonic origins. The big beat, said Billy Graham, 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.

"[E]xcellent... [V]aluable, clearly written and meticulously researced."

Christopher Carroll, The Wall Street Journal

About the author

Randall J. Stephens is Associate Professor of British and American Studies at the University of Oslo. He previously taught at Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne). He is a historian of religion, conservatism, the South, environmentalism, and popular culture. His latest book, The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ’n’ Roll (Harvard University Press, 2018), has received great attention and reviews from the press.


Light refreshments.

The event is open to all, no registration required. Welcome!

Play list

Listen to Randall Stephens' Spotify playlist of songs and artists mentioned in The Devil’s Music!


Published Oct. 8, 2018 12:34 PM - Last modified Oct. 8, 2018 1:28 PM