Born Again to Run: Rutgers to Offer a Bruce Springsteen-Themed Theology Class

Rutgers professor Azzan Yadin-Israel is a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen. So much so that he is now offering a theology course based on the music of The Boss. In an interview with Rutgers Today, the religious studies professor said that it’s not hard to pull Biblical messages out of the Springsteen catalogue. “In some songs, Springsteen engages Biblical motifs explicitly, as the titles indicate. For example, ‘Adam Raised a Cain,’ ‘Jesus was an Only Son,’ ‘In the Belly of the Whale’ (referring to Jonah). But concepts with biblical resonance appear throughout his works (the Promised Land, redemption, faith), and it’s just a matter of taking the theological overtones seriously.”

According to the Yadin-Israel, Springsteen’s Roman Catholic upbringing had a significant influence on the music he would become famous for. “Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption—crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land—and the sanctity of the everyday. Springsteen tries to drag the power of religious symbols that are usually relegated to some transcendent reality into our lived world. In his later albums he also writes very openly about faith.” Students who enroll for a dose of Springsteen theology will receive one-credit hour. Rock on professor Yadin-Israel …

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