What popular songs are about computers

Use of popular music in religious education using the example of the Toten Hosen


1 Introduction

2 Theological Approaches: Popular Music and Religion
2.1 Rolf Tischer: Postmodern Syncretism
2.2 Bernd Schwarze: Aspects of the Religious in Rock and Pop Music
2.3 Gotthart Fermor: Ecstatic music religiosity
2.4 Andrew Greeley: Revelation of God
2.5. Balance sheet

3 basic theses on the use of music in
Religious instruction
3.1 Tasks of music in religious education
3.2 Theses on music and religion

4 Didactic Concepts
4.1 Symbol didactics
4.2 Lifeworld - Correlation

5 Religious Traces in Pop Music

6 punk
6.1 The origins
6.2 The development in Germany
6.3 Sociology of the punks
6.4 The appearance of the punks
6.5 Music, lyrics and style
6.6 Punk and Religion

7 The Dead Pants and Religion

8 teaching suggestions on the dead pants in literature
8.1 What matters - love as a way of life
8.2 Nothing lasts forever
8.3 What you live for
8.4 Evaluation of the presented teaching concepts

9 Teaching attempt: Die Toten Hosen and religion
9.1 General preliminary remarks
9.2 Information on organizational and technical
9.3 The learning group
9.4 Lesson planning for the series
9.4.1 Classification in the subject of the course section
9.4.2 Planning the lesson General ideas about religious education The selected songs of the Toten Hosen
9.5 Course of the lesson
9.6 Evaluation by the students

10 Conclusion

11 Literature

12 plants

1 Introduction

"I'm here to talk to you, are you listening to me?" This quote from the song "Praying" by the Toten Hosen reflects the problem many people have in communicating with God. Young people in particular are in a phase of searching. The search for their own identity, for the meaning of life, for their position in society. One aspect of this search for orientation are questions about God and religion. School is a place where young people can reflect on these issues. Religious instruction in particular offers them the chance to deal with these questions. But how can religious instruction look like that takes young people seriously in their living environment and thereby encourages them to actively, motivated participation? Music provides a starting point for this. As a rule, young people consume music. Can popular music positively influence religious education? Are there elements in the music of young people (and not just young people) that are relevant to religious education? In order to shed light on these questions, the present work deals with the subject of punk and religious education. Why punk? Many young people listen to this music. And punk in particular, with its protests against petty and upper-class behavior (also within religion), offers an interesting field of research. Nevertheless, there are at times certain traces of religiousness to be discovered in punk, with its anti-religiousness being displayed. One of the tasks of this work is to track them down using the example of the Toten Hosen.

First of all, using various examples, then explicitly in the song “Praying” by the Toten Hosen, a possibility is to be shown how such a lesson can be designed.

In the first steps of this work, theological approaches to popular music, religious-pedagogical perspectives of music in religious instruction and the possibilities of music in correlative instruction are examined. In a further step, religious traces are to be sought in popular music in order to then refer to punk and later in particular the Toten Hosen, but punk will also be discussed in particular. After an overview of previous teaching concepts on the Toten Hosen, the last section of this thesis should finally include the attempt and evaluation of a separate teaching unit on the "Toten Hosen and Religion".

2 Theological Approaches: Popular Music and Religion

Several scholars have already dealt with the religious content and messages of popular music. In particular, they tried to describe the content more precisely and to compare it with the statements of the Christian religion. You have come to different results in detail. Examples of interpretations are presented below.

2.1 Rolf Tischer: Postmodern Syncretism

Musicologists often accuse religion of appropriating pop music for itself and functionalizing it for its own purposes.[1] Tischer, on the other hand, reverses the thesis: “Rock and pop music appropriates, uses and abuses religious traditions in a specific way. Lately she has been making use of the stock of symbols of sounds, words and images that traditional religions have in store. It draws on the arsenal of archaic and modern religious symbols, which is not limited to a particular religion "[2]. Tischer calls this new form of pop religion, which mostly correlates with the religious ideas of its consumers, postmodern syncretism.[3]

He accuses popular music of not claiming to be seriously religious, at best it is playing with this claim. First and foremost, it has to be fun.[4] If you take this thought further, you could say that the musicians play with the religious out of economic considerations.

According to Tischer, songs must be examined to see whether they have a key biographical or religious quality.[5] A song has a key biographical qualification if it can help the listener break down and interpret its existence. It has to merge with your own biography. Tischer explains this using the example of a life situation that is associated with a song: “After all, there has to be a (possibly critical) life situation that the song fits into. Someone speaks from my heart, someone sings from my soul! is then the impression "[6]. But the song must also be musically pleasing to the listener and the performer at least has to be sympathetic to the listener. This requires an intensive examination of the text and the music. Furthermore, the song should reflect a certain life situation of the listener.[7]

Religious key quality opens up in the songs, which reveal something of the divine mystery. If the view of the whole of human existence is broadened in a song, religious questions and positive statements also come up. In this way, they can open up access to areas that remain hidden from everyday pragmatism.[8]

2.2 Bernd Schwarze: Aspects of the Religious in Rock and Pop Music

While Tischer talks about postmodern syncretism and looks for key qualifications, black people approach religion from a different angle in popular music:

The Protestant theologian Bernd Schwarze studied the relationship between rock and pop music and religion. He describes this relationship with the terms accompaniment, cult and story.[9]

The term accompaniment refers to the constant presence of music in everyday life. This takes place on different levels. Functional music, as it has been used in shops, restaurants and public buildings since the 1970s, is intended to create a pleasant environment. The intention is not necessarily to encourage willingness to buy, but rather to ritualize shopping.[10] However, an additional dimension of meaning can be experienced when the shopper hears a song that he connects with his own biography and thus triggers an impulse in him that prompts him to buy an item. Schwarze describes this as a first stage of the transcendent experience: "A first stage of the transcendent experience happens here in the ritualization of the everyday and in the time condensed by the music, which confronts a person with the meaning of their own story."[11]

A second possibility of accompaniment arises when the listener brings it about himself. By specifically playing certain music, he can change his own perception of his environment. So music brings about a compression, in a double sense. On the one hand, everyday life in music becomes poetry in the poetic sense; on the other hand, the atmosphere of everyday life becomes denser in the sense of the listener[12]. "Musical accompaniment, whether externally controlled (...), whether self-staged (...) achieves a simple form of transcendence, transcending the everyday and banal to a special dimension of meaning".[13]

Schwarze uses the term cult to characterize the worship of pop stars and the course of concerts. Similar to other cults, concerts show parallels in many respects to cultic acts of traditional religions (example: fog machine - incense). It gives the participants a break from everyday life. Skilful planning of the arc of tension is required, which also allows space for the audience to participate.[14] However, the sequence of a pop concert with traditional Christian one on one should not be taken over. This would not do either justice. For blacks, “what is decisive for the moment of transcendence in the pop concert (...) is the time-out or dream-time character of the event. In a special place, at a special time, there is a possibility of leaving the usual context of life, immersion in an atmosphere that obeys other laws "[15]. It is important to note that not only do the concerts have analogies to church services, but pop stars are also revered as god-like beings. Ultimately, however, the religious veneration points beyond the pop stars, what is actually divine is the music itself.[16]

The third track, narration, is now dedicated to the musical event in particular: the song.[17] He does not just mean the text of a song, but sees this in the interplay of acoustic and visual signs.[18] He sees a conscious transcendence here. In doing so, everyday experiences are often linked to, which are then given religious interpretations either in the text or in the music.[19] By analyzing three songs from the Crash Test Dummies, Sting and Madonna[20] he finds extensive similarities in the formal structure of the religiosity of these narratives. They are individualistic and are critical of institutions. Religiousness is actively created and shaped by taking traditional elements into account. Similarities can also be found in terms of content. In all songs there is a longing for redemption.[21] Since the reality of life is often experienced as painful, songs are asked beyond the boundaries of this world, looking for ideas that make our world more acceptable. The traditional Christian answers are no longer sufficient for the artists: elements of these are mixed with others and thus condensed into new, free-spirited narratives. These offer millions of people a new way to understand the questions of life.[22]

2.3 Gotthart Fermor: Ecstatic music religiosity

Blacks and table people tend to see the differences between Christian belief and religion. Fermor, on the other hand, goes one step further: in his investigations he places the pop concert with its religious implications in the foreground. He divides the phenomenon of pop music into three levels: The first level deals with the physical, ecstatic side of pop music, especially in concerts. The second level deals with the music and its imaginative character, whereby the images and myths of the music are important. The spiritual content, as it is manifested in the lyrics, is found on the third level.[23] Using the example of the concerts of the Doors group, Femor explains these three levels.

Level I:

If one analyzes concert recordings of the Doors, the forms of the ecstatic musical experience can be demonstrated here. Musically, the Doors can be tied to the tradition of Afro-American music with their ecstatic rhythms, the frequent use of repetition, the innovative design of the songs and the expressive to ecstatic voice guidance.[24] With the person of Jim Morrisson, who becomes a cult figure of a whole generation of young people (also following), the worship of a star takes place. The entire concert is designed in the style of a cultic drama, in which the visitors are included.[25]

Level II:

The constant play between light and dark provokes associations with the dark metaphors of ancient mystery cultures.[26] So this staging, mostly still connected with drug consumption, leads to an extreme image production among the concert goers: "The ecstatic involvement with its cultic associations is intensified by this synaesthesia"[27].

Level III:

The Doors' texts consist of a mixture of poetic surrealism, myths, symbols and stories from different traditions. The syncretistic appropriation crosses borders.[28]

All three musical levels are reminiscent of religious dimensions, and “the concert participants of a Doors concert are taken on a journey whose goal is to break through to the other side with the help of music, dance, images and text (based on the song title:“ Break on through the other side ", which can be found on the first album" The Doors ", 1967).[29]

Fermor analyzes the ecstatic religiosity of music from a cultural-anthropological, religious-sociological and traditional-historical perspective. The pop concert is described as a ritual that, with its ecstatic, delimiting experiences and the associated community experiences, interrupts everyday life and creates spaces of experience for transcendence. In conclusion, he judges pop music as potentially religious, in which Christians can recognize the work of the Holy Spirit without losing sight of the weaknesses of this music (lack of connection between the transcendent experience in the pop concert and a community that exists beyond the concert).[30]

2.4 Andrew Greeley: Revelation of God

Now that Fermor has reduced the difference between Christian tradition and the religion of pop music, Greeley even sees it as a place of opportunity for transcendence. He developed a theological outline in which he referred to culture as a locus theologicus.[31] So popular culture is a place where one can encounter God.[32] In terms of music, this means that traces of divine grace can be found in the stories that are told there.[33] These tell of the people, their experiences, they tell of the search for meaning. Thus, they are both implicitly and explicitly religious. Christianity must now build on these experiences. Popular music is particularly suitable for this, as it includes people's life experiences.[34]

2.5. Balance sheet

If one compares these four approaches, one has to realize that they diverge both in their description of the contents of the religion of popular music and in their evaluation. Greeley sees a kind of revelation from God in current popular songs. In contrast, Schwarze and Tischer emphasize the difference between Christian belief and religion, which is expressed in popular songs. In between there is Femor, which is on the one hand the

emphasizes syncretic character, on the other hand indicates that the music also processes Christian traditions.[35] He describes it as potentially sacred music.

How can these differences be explained? On the one hand, pieces of music are only selected and examined very selectively. In this way, enough songs can be selected for each thesis that underpin the respective thesis.[36]

On the other hand, in addition to the lyrics, only limited attention is paid to the music (Schwarze and Fermor). The message of a song only emerges from the interplay of the music and the texts (in the case of video clips also the optical stimuli).[37] An examination of pop music that only extends over one or two dimensions of this can therefore not create a holistic picture of it.

For the further assessment of songs, religious educational aspects must also be taken into account. What can music actually achieve in religious education, which factors are particularly important? It is also essential to deal with the didactic concepts that determine religious education (symbol and correlation didactics), as well as the music that plays a role in them. These factors will be the subject of the next two chapters.

3 basic theses on the use of music in religious education

3.1 Tasks of music in religious education

The use of music should break the purely cognitive character of religious education and make it more experience-oriented and holistic. The independence of musical expression must be respected. It is perceived on a different, physical level.[38] In this way, the young person is also sensitized to non-rational aspects of his being.From this arises the demand for an education for the ability to express, because the expression of the innermost feelings or the development of creativity are considered to be a basic anthropological need. Religious education should also build on this. The focus is on authentic mediation between individual self-expression and the offer of cultural (religious, Christian and ecclesiastical) forms as a means of expression.[39]

The way of expression changes the experience. The ability to express and experience are related. Therefore, in this respect, music and religion can be understood as a language that can be learned in order to enable and improve one's own ability to express themselves, thereby expanding and deepening the ability to experience.[40] Popular music in its various forms can be an expression of youthful attitudes towards life, youthful worlds and thus, mostly unconsciously, also religious experiences and religious searches.[41] In particular, it applies to religious education that the one-sided use of a musical style leads to a narrowing of the musical ability to express and experience and thus does not do justice to the pluralism of individual experiences of a school class.[42] When using music, the teacher should therefore make sure to use as many different styles of music as possible. In doing so, however, he must also respond to the wishes of the students. They should help plan the lessons themselves, bring their own songs and explain why they prefer certain songs and what associations they have with them.[43]

On the one hand, religious music can be perceived without religious experience; this emphasizes the unavailability of religious experience, and therefore aesthetic experience must be respected in its intrinsic value. On the other hand, a piece of music that is meant to be completely irreligious can also trigger religious feelings or experiences in a person.[44]

In general, music is used in religious education to get in the mood, as an impulse. The music can arouse or reinforce certain feelings that the lyrics and later the lessons want to convey. But it should go further and the music should be ascribed a physical, affective and cognitive effect, which increases the willingness and ability of the students to experience.[45]

Religious songs have been and continue to be ascribed the ability to offer help in difficult life situations such as war, illness and death. In doing so, however, the ambivalence of the music must be taken into account, which, depending on its form and context, can be life-promoting and life-destroying.[46] However, music can only have a life-helping effect if it is not only heard in class, but permeates the everyday life of the students.[47] Orientation points and criteria should be conveyed, which help the students to filter life-enhancing music from the diverse offer and to deal with it. In this case, not only popular pieces of music should be selected, but also less popular pieces that are valuable from a religious pedagogical perspective.[48] For these reasons, active and creative use of music in religious education is indispensable. Here religious education can learn from music education and must enter into dialogue with it.

3.2 Theses on music and religion

In the following section ten theses are presented which are intended to clarify the relationship between music and religion in schools from a religious and music pedagogical perspective.

1. The music in religious education is largely treated only abstractly and cognitively. The question arises whether this approach does justice to music; especially when the textual side of the music is dealt with almost exclusively.[49] Religious instruction must be more complex. In addition to the different sciences, the diversity of music and the ways in which it is dealt with should also be taken into account.[50]
2. Music should not only be understood as art or classified into styles (classical music = serious music = formal aesthetic, pop music = popular music = emotional aesthetic). Although individual pieces of music can be interpreted in certain directions due to their genesis, this would not suffice the versatile possibilities. Music can be grasped in a variety of ways by taking several levels into account: one and the same piece of music can therefore be viewed aesthetically, emotionally or objectively. It is supposed to be recognized as an autonomous quantity
but at the same time serve people as a form of their ability to express themselves and their need.[51] However, the intrinsic value of music can take a back seat to a humanizing functionality, as in music therapy. On the other hand, only for the sake of the music itself, purely from an artistic point of view, find justification.
4. Religious and music education can help each other to grasp the dimensions of music. Music pedagogy can prevent music from being tied to only one particular dogmatic interpretation and can cause its aesthetics to be better understood. In contrast, religious education opens up the possibility of perceiving the transcendental dimension.[52]
5. The preoccupation with the terms Experience and symbol can be helpful in the interplay of religious and music education. Many experiences, including religious ones, can be expressed through music.[53] This also includes states of mind such as anger, sadness, pain, hope, love, etc. Therefore, there should also be a sensitization for the multidimensionality of music. In this context, religious education must particularly turn to the symbols of the mass media. A living-world-oriented religious education requires less archaic than a mass media symbolic didactics. With the help of these symbols, traditional religious symbols can also be rediscovered.[54] Furthermore, the mistake must not be made of only concentrating thematically on language and image, but the acoustic symbol must also be taken into account.[55]
6. Transcendental aspects of music can stimulate people to search for the meaning of life and to ask for a higher power. The pupils should be able to understand that people have had religious experiences through music or have come to a religious interpretation. No attempt should be made to create such experiences through music in religious education lessons. The students should learn through the lessons, "the religious interpretation as an offer for a better understanding and handling of music to enrich their own humanity and their own spirituality"[56] to accept. In a second step, there must also be a consideration of the dangers that have to do with transcendental aspects of music. These dangers are to adopt music as a substitute religion or to abuse it in sects and political ideologies.[57] The pupils should be given an orientation in the plurality of meanings, worldviews and religious orientations that exist in society.[58]
7. Music and religion must therefore be linked with one another under the aspects of reception, supply and education. This must be introduced and processed in an educationally relevant manner. First of all, the religious dimensions of music, the interaction and experience with it that occur in the students' world, and their life-promoting and life-hostile aspects, are to be explored. Participation that has already been perceived and experienced is used. In a second point, the perception of the transcendental dimension of music should be made possible. This includes making music, listening or creative processing of musical tradition. The focus here is on the participation that is made possible. Thirdly, the elements hostile to life are to be questioned critically. This should be done via the discovery learning be possible to get a Didactics from above to avoid. There are, on the one hand, the hidden connections between music and religion (as already outlined under point 5) and, on the other hand, the offer of judgment criteria and motivations for a life-promoting approach to music and religion. The focus here is on reflection.[59]
8. Religiousness is an execution of transcendence that does not avoid the world reference, but allows one to see it differently. The goal of transcendence is the ultimate secret of all reality, which defies any conceptuality. Moments of transcendence take place not only in special worlds, but also in everyday life.[60] Human transcendentality and religiosity should not be left in singular arbitrariness or in the darkness of the irrational. They have to influence the self-image and actions of the individual and have an impact in the social and societal context. It is therefore necessary to discuss these dimensions. And openly and publicly, so that a theological as well as pedagogically responsible path can be followed. This should lead to more humanity in the sense of a Christian - religious education.[61] It is therefore helpful from a religious pedagogical point of view not to squeeze the dialogue with the subjects into certain terms from the outset, as this could endanger communication.[62]
9. Religious instruction does not primarily want to educate people to a Christian faith or to church, it only wants to help students find their own way to a human life, to a human religiosity and to a human approach to music. Care must be taken not to reduce the humanizing possibilities of music to just religious aspects.[63] The statement of the synodal resolution on religious education of 1974 aims in this direction: "Religious education should enable people to think and behave responsibly with regard to religion and belief."[64]
10. Both subjects, religion and music, must work together. It is not enough if the religion teachers refer solely to the interpretation of the text and the music teachers refer to the consideration of the musical - aesthetic side. There should at least be an agreement between the subject teachers; if both cannot be guaranteed in one subject, cooperation between the two subjects would be desirable[65] (Interdisciplinary teaching).
11. To make this possible, basic training in the other subject of the respective teacher would be ideal.[66] However, this should not be made a condition, since otherwise the creativity of the individual would be limited if he did not have the possibilities and skills for additional training.


[1] Schwarze, 1997, p. 84

[2] Tischer, 1992, p. 29f

[3] Schwarze, 1997, p. 84

[4] Tischer, 1992, p. 42; see also p. 56f

[5] Obenauer, 2002, p. 41

[6] Tischer, 1992, p. 182

[7] ibid., p. 182

[8] ibid., p. 182

[9] Obenauer, 2002, p. 35

[10] Schwarze, 2000, p. 55

[11] ibid., p. 55

[12] ibid., p. 56

[13] ibid., p. 56

[14] Schwarze, 2000, p. 57

[15], ibid., p. 57

[16] Obenauer, 2002, p. 35

[17] Schwarze, 2000, p. 33

[18] ibid., p. 58

[19] ibid., p. 58

[20] ibid., p. 58ff

[21] Obenauer, 2002, p. 36

[22] Schwarze, 1997, p. 248

[23] Obenauer, 2002, p. 38

[24] Fermor, 2000, p. 39

[25] ibid., p. 39

[26] ibid., p. 39

[27] Fermor, 2000, p. 39

[28] ibid., p. 40

[29] ibid., p. 40

[30] Obenauer, 2002, p. 39

[31] Schwarze, 1997, p. 72

[32] Obenauer, 2002, p. 34

[33] ibid., p. 34

[34] ibid., p. 34

[35] Obenauer, 2002., p. 43

[36] ibid., p. 44

[37] ibid., p. 44

[38] Treml, 1997, p. 280

[39] Pirner, 1999, p. 431

[40] ibid., p. 432

[41] Kögler, 1994, p. 246

[42] Pirner, 1999 p. 432

[43] Kögler, 1994 p. 240

[44] Pirner, 1999 p. 433

[45] ibid., p. 434

[46] Pirner, 1999 p. 435

[47] ibid., p. 436

[48] Pirner, 1999 p. 436

[49] Treml, 1997 p. 279

[50] Pirner, 1999 p. 444

[51] Pirner, 1999, pp. 444f

[52] ibid., p. 446

[53] ibid., p. 446f

[54] Buschmann, 1998, p. 196

[55] Treml, 1997, p. 276

[56] Pirner, 1999, p. 447

[57] ibid., p. 448

[58] Schäfers, 1999, p. 150

[59] Pirner, 1999, p. 448ff

[60] Treml, 1997, p .97

[61] ibid., p. 449

[62] Treml, 1997, p. 97

[63] Pirner, 1999, p. 449ff

[64] Hilger, et al., 2001, p. 138

[65] Pirner, 1999, p. 450

[66] ibid., p. 450f

End of the reading sample from 83 pages