Monique M. Ingalls, "Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community" (Oxford UP, 2018)


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The choices that churches make about their musical style do more than simply change the sounds one hears in their gatherings, but actually form certain kinds of community. So Monique M. Ingalls, Associate Professor of Music at Baylor University, argues in her book Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community (Oxford UP, 2018).

Ingalls draws upon her original ethnographic research across five different forms of musical congregating among North American Evangelicals to analyze musical congregations at the concert, the conference, the local church, public events, and online spaces. Her study presents a new paradigm for congregational studies that is capable of taking a much more fluid approach to what constitutes a congregation. This study has wide-ranging implications for how to study religious mobilization and posturing beyond the strict, traditional institutional borders. Monique is also co-founder of the Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives Conference.

Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.

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