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Religion and Hip Hop Culture - Rice University



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This course explores Hip Hop culture's religious dimensions through its musical language-rap music. With an apprenticeship you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

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Requirements: None.


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Starts Location

What you'll learn on the course

Hip Hop
Rap music

Course programme

What is religion? What is Hip Hop? Are they the same thing? Do they overlap? Over six weeks we’ll get a sense of how some individuals answer these questions, and you’ll get the tools you need to explore these questions for yourselves. We will start our time together with some basic assumptions, the most important being a willingness to think about Hip Hop and religion as cultures that wrestle with the huge questions of our existence: Who are we? Why are we? Where are we?  on hip You will also need to be open to the possibility of Hip Hop as a language through which these complex and religious questions are presented, explored, and interpreted. As this course unfolds, we’ll look closely into the relationship between Hip Hop culture and religion. We will explore the ways in which Hip Hop culture discusses and provides life meaning in complex ways through  (1) a discussion of the history and content of rap music; (2) an examination of religion in rap music; (3) an exploration of the religious sensibilities of rap artists; and (4) a discussion of the implications of the connection between rap and religion. We will accomplish this through a unique mix of videos, readings, music, images, stories and behind-the scenes insider perspectives.  All required readings are available within the courseware and complete texts are also available for purchase. Join this course to enhance your understanding of the intersections between religion and Hip Hop culture in the United States. No prior knowledge is required. All lectures will be in English. Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.

Additional information

Anthony Pinn Anthony Pinn is Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, where he is also the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning.  Pinn is also the director of research for the Institute for Humanist Studies, a Washington DC think tank.  His interests include the intersections of popular culture and religious identity and non-theistic trends in American public life.  He is the author/editor of over thirty books including, Noise and Spirit:  The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music (2003) and The Hip Hop and Religion Reader (2014).