In the News
Kanye’s Yeezus: vicarious religion or charismatic sect leader?
This week I have been interested in Kanye’s position in the media as self-proclaimed ‘Yeezus’, whereby he has described ‘his job to spread the gospel’ via his lyrics and his platform as a celebrity, producing an all-gospel album, and committing himself to disciplined bible study.
In this article from earlier this year, his journey to faith is outlined. Kanye could be argued as a non-secular hero. Is this a sign that religion is not disappearing, but that perhaps we consume it vicariously, through individuals such as Kanye, in place of more traditional religious leaders?
However, others may argue that Kanye is a charismatic leader of something slightly outside of the mainstream, and looking to gain his own unique following by setting up a very private retreatist organisation. In a recent article from Rolling Stone magazine, we are told the school Kanye has now opened is part of his longtime vision including a five-year plan to have several campuses across America, each with Christian prep schools that offer full worship, and were almost named the Yeezy Christian Academy! The article also suggests that ‘the lack of transparency about the inner workings of the school raises questions about what’s actually happening behind the scenes’, making it a difficult task to categorise Kanye’s brand of religion.