Citation and Recitation in Mystical Scholarship and Om’s Drone Metal

In this article I compare the uses of texts designated ‘mystical’ in two traditions: the academic study of religions and the heavy metal music genre of drone metal. Rather than attempting to define mysticism, I review the ways in which quotations of texts have been employed in academic studies on my...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Diskus
Main Author: Coggins, Owen
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2014]
In:Diskus
Year: 2014, Volume: 16, Issue: 1, Pages: 30-48
Online Access: Volltext (Kostenfrei)
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Summary:In this article I compare the uses of texts designated ‘mystical’ in two traditions: the academic study of religions and the heavy metal music genre of drone metal. Rather than attempting to define mysticism, I review the ways in which quotations of texts have been employed in academic studies on mysticism, noting that many scholarly works devoted to understanding and categorising previous mystical texts have later been designated mystical themselves. Then, taking as a case study a recent album by drone metal group Om, I examine the related ways of reusing religious texts, sounds, symbols and practices in drone metal music, culture and discourse. I compare and contrast the uses of such texts, sounds, symbols and themes in both traditions, and the implications of their differing epistemological and cultural status. Setting up and then undermining a division between two kinds of textual reference in citation and recitation, I suggest that ‘mysticism’ in drone metal and in mystical scholarship is constituted through both uses. In a final example, I show how a webpage of listener comments attached to an online clip of Om’s music displays a range of these ‘mystical’ textual practices.
ISSN:0967-8948
Contains:Enthalten in: Diskus
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.18792/diskus.v16i1.3