Icons, faith and sin: how 21st century hyphop poets use religious language for their purposes
Keywords: pop culture, spirituality, secularisation, hip hop
Language: In Latvian

The article explores the religious function of pop culture texts using the lyrics of Latvian and Russian hip-hop musicians as an example of the expression of the existential and hermeneutic function of religion. Pop culture is understood as the meaning and value that consumers attach to mass-produced and widely distributed pop culture texts, such as cinema, music, literature, television, video games, and other mass culture products.

This process of meaning-making, along with the flourishing of spirituality in the Western world, challenges the paradigm of secularisation of religious research and demonstrates the transformation of religiosity toward its disappearance. Religion and culture remain in a paradoxical relationship with interdependence and interaction.

Analysis of hip-hop texts shows that the use of religious vocabulary therein resembles spiritual approach to religious sources with an individualistic and personal experience-based meaning, but the presence of this vocabulary indicates the presence of the hermeneutic and existential function of religion in pop-culture texts. Pop-culture texts speak of meaning and value and fulfil a religious function.