Religion has returned to the arts, philosophy, politics, and, by extension, the news media that reports on them. More broadly, contemporary Western societies may have entered a period of what philosopher Jürgen Habermas calls “post-secular,” which is to say that, in a sense, religion has been there all along. If philosophers, politicians, and artists want to talk about religion, fine—but for God’s sake, alt-rockers too?!
Alternative rock, with its default anti-establishment stance (whether feigned or forthright) has not been the typical go-to place for sincere religious music. That may be changing. Though stylistically diverse, several recent releases show a unique motif: treating religious histories and sacred texts as fonts of wisdom, experience, and poetry.