A recent BYU News article discusses three BYU professors’ opinions of what qualifies as a “secular hymn.”
This new genre of music was identified by Professor Steve Thomsen and others in the Journal of Media and Religion. The article discusses the blurring of the lines between religion and spirituality, and how people are finding spirituality in pop music. This led the professors to explore the possibilities of pop songs that people identified with spirituality, or “secular hymns.”
Some songs listed in this category include “Hallelujah,” “What a Wonderful World” and “Imagine.”
Besides spirituality, some other criteria listed in the article are popularity throughout multiple generations and use in public settings. “Secular hymns typically also include religious themes without being overtly religious,” the article said.
Read the full article here.