Dr Mark Jennings
BA (Tabor), BTh (Murdoch), PhD (Murdoch)


About me

My research is primarily in the Sociology of Religion. I have a continuing interest in Pentecostal spirituality and the development of Pentecostalism as a phenomenon in the twenty-first century. I have also written on the relationship between secularisation and religion in the twentieth and early twenty-first century. I also have an interest and expertise in qualitative methods, and the sociology of popular culture. My research continues to explore the interaction between theology and sociology, particularly as it relates to popular culture and religion. I am an early career researcher, and very much enjoying the process of writing and teaching in the beginning stages of my career.

My monograph, entitled  Exaltation: Ecstatic Experience in Pentecostalism and Popular Music - will be in print in January 2014.

Research areas


Popular Culture

Proto-religious phenomena

Interaction between sociology and theology

Religious studies

Current projects

Evaluation of the UnitingCare West Pathways Program

The Pathways service aims to provide holistic, across service boundary, individualised service to 50 people who are homeless / at risk of homelessness / have a disability / mental illness and have complex support needs.

The purpose of the evaluation is essentially to outline a before, during and after picture of the 50 individuals participating in the service, outlining:

  1. The condition of clients prior to accessing the service (e.g. capacity to live safely and sustainably, level of social inclusion and interconnectedness, physical and mental health)
  2. The assessment processes built into the everyday functioning of the service, recording and measuring changes in the conditions of those accessing the service.
  3. The condition of clients after one year and two years of participating in the service, comparing and contrasting with (1) above.


Doctoral and masters supervisions

Doctoral students: Naomi Sharin “The dance of Dakini in an ordinary woman’s life: A creative-critical conversation between Vajrayana Buddhism and Feminism.” Secondary supervisor (40%) (principal supervisor – Nado Aveling 60%).



  • Jennings, M., (2014),Exaltation: Ecstatic Experience in Pentecostalism and Popular Culture,Peter Lang Bern.


  • Jennings, M., (2010),Collective Effervescence, Numinous Experience or Proto-Religious Phenomena? Moshing with Durkheim, Schleiermacher and Otto,In: Philosophical and Cultural Theories of Music, Koninklijke Brill NV, pages 107 - 128.


  • Jennings, M., (2014), Imagining Jesus doing a Whole Lotta Shakin': Pentecostal worship, popular music and the politics of experience, Culture and Religion, 15, 2, pages 211 - 226.
  • Jennings, M., (2014), Breaking Free to the Limit: Foucault, Otto and Pentecostal Experience., Journal of Contemporary Religion, 29, 1, pages 33 - 45.
  • Jennings, M., (2013), The Fourth Gospels Reversal of Mark in John 13,3114,3, Biblica, 94, 2, pages 210 - 236.
  • Jennings, M., (2010), Realms of re-enchantment: socio-cultural investigations of festival music space., Perfect Beat, 11, 1, pages 67 - 83.
  • Jennings, M., (2010), Ive got a spirit coming through me: music as hierophany and musicians as shamans., Australian Religion Studies Review, 23, 2, pages 210 - 228.
  • Jennings, M., (2008), 'Won't you break free?' An ethnography of music and the divine-human encounter at an Australian Pentecostal church., Culture and Religion, 9, 2, pages 161 - 174.


  • Jennings, Mark. 2012. ‘Unlikely comrades: The joys and challenges of community agencies working together in partnership, managing a shared project.’ Evaluation report commissioned by CLAN WA and Murdoch University, Western Australia.

Conference Presentations

  • 2007. ‘Won’t you break free?’ An ethnography of music and the divine-human encounter at an Australian Pentecostal church. TASA & SAANZ joint conference, University of Auckland.
  • 2008. That Feeling of Exaltation: An Ethnography of Music and Religious Experience at a Music Festival. Music, Culture and Society Conference, Monash University.
  • 2012. Elementary forms, Pentecostalism and the demise of Secularisation theory. Durkheim Symposium, Flinders University.
  • 2012. Music as Hierophany and Musicians as Shamans. IASPM conference, University of Tasmania.
  • 2013. An Extraordinary Degree of Exaltation: Durkheim, Effervescence and Pentecostalism’s defeat of Secularization. Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations: 50 years of Australian Sociology TASA Conference, Monash University.


Journal articles:

  • Jennings, M. (Pending publication —Accepted June 2014). ‘An Extraordinary Degree of Exaltation: Durkheim, Effervescence and Pentecostalism’s defeat of Secularization.’ Social Compass.
  • Jennings, M. (Under review —Submitted September 2014). Defusing the Horizons? Content Analysis and Hermeneutics. Sociology.

Media Outputs:

  • Jennings M. (Pending publication — Submitted June 2014). ‘Pentecostal, Pearl Jam – Music brings Ecstasy to us all.’ The Conversation.