Born Ronaldo Giovanni Padavona, heavy metal music icon Ronnie James Dio (known for his operatic voice of thunder) passed away recently. Dio has performed with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own solo project, Dio. With song titles such as “Gates of Babylon,” “Heaven & Hell,” “Holy Diver,” and “The Devil You Know” there is an inescapable religious quality to his persona. Sociologist Deena Weinstein (DePaul University) and Associate Professor of Religious Studies Anthea Butler (University of Pennsylvania) are big fans. Butler writes, “The imagery their album covers drew upon was more interesting than the mundane depictions of evil employed by the Church harkening back to a Hieronymus Bosch sensibility. Staring at the covers and listening to the throbbing music accompanying Dio’s operatic voice was like a metal Wagnerian opera.” Known for dark album imagery, medieval stage set (complete with “sword and sorcery” aesthetics) and his use of the “devil horns” hand gesture (often used at rock concerts) Dio has often been accused of satanic dabbling, though his statements more often come across as agnostic. Ironically, Dio provided vocals for born-again Christian Kerry Livgren (of Kansas fame) on “To Live for the King” and “Mask of the Great Deceiver.” He supported Children of the Night, a non-profit organization that rescues “America’s children from the ravages of street prostitution.” His widow is the Chairperson. Dio died of stomach cancer at the age of 67. Read more here, here, here, and here.
Both American and Global: Jazz and World Religions in the United States By David W. Stowe, Michigan State University (Vol. 5, May 2010) Religion Compass
Religion and Country Music By John Hayes, Wake Forest University (Vol. 5, April 2010) Religion Compass
Sound and American Religions By Isaac A. Weiner, University of North Carolina (Vol. 4, July 2009) Religion Compass
Divination: Epistemology, Agency, and Identity in Contemporary Urban West Africa By Laura S. Grillo, Pacifica Graduate Institute (Vol. 4, December 2009) Religion Compass
Teaching and Learning Guide for: Interpreting Magic and Divination in the Ancient Near East and Magic and Divination in Ancient Israel By Ann Jeffers, Heythrop College, University of London (August 2008) Religion Compass
Unfortunately, many free online music can not be downloaded legally, because they are subject to copyright. There are also consequences for anyone caught illegally downloading and distributing the music of others.
Once you stumble upon the music you can download legally, so there is a risk that is loaded with virus, spyware and adware. There are also ethical concerns for Christians who want to download music legally authorized.
How to find free Christian music can be downloaded legally, then?
Your best bet is to find an online site that hosts indie Christian hymns. These songs are free to control other people, no producer or record companies involved.
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