Author Topic: Bruce Springsteen Theology Class At Rutgers Makes Us Want To Go Back To College  (Read 480 times)

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Offline EC

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Via HuffPo:

Bruce Springsteen may not immediately come to mind when thinking of spiritual leaders, but the rock icon's song lyrics are actually rich with theological references and imagery, a topic that Professor Azzan Yadin-Israel explored in a class Rutgers University.

Yadin-Israel, a scholar of ancient rabbinic literature and a long-time Springsteen fan, told The Huffington Post that the course, "Bruce Springsteen's Theology," asks questions including, "How can biblical religious sources help us read songs like these, and how can Springsteen's songs in turn inform our reading of the Bible?"

Yadin-Israel's inspiration for the course came about after he published an article about an Israeli band that examined theological themes in their songs, which led him to wonder about what the American equivalent would be. He started marking up Springsteen lyrics while thinking about themes like redemption and the promised land, and he found a number of references that could have theological meaning, which is fairly unusual for the rock genre. Springsteen was brought up in a Roman Catholic household.

Yadin-Israel pointed to "Jesus Was An Only Son" as an example of a song which explicitly explores biblical themes while at the same time providing a new framework for interpretation. Yadin-Israel explained that the song is about the Passion narrative, the last hours of Jesus' life, a hugely significant moment that underpins the belief in humanity's redemption through Christ's sacrifice. "Springsteen refocuses the song in an interesting way, shifting the focus away from Jesus as the son of God, and looking at Jesus as the son of Mary," he commented. "She isn't part of the redemptive narrative-- she's a grieving mother."

More at link.

Before the inevitable "What a waste of tuition!" comments, I like the idea. Innovative and interesting and something that is likely to make the students actually think, not just passively absorb information to be regurgitated onto paper.
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