.

Rutgers Plans Bruce Springsteen Theology Class

Freshman seminar will examine 40 years of singer's lyrics

Bruce Springsteen performs in New York City.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
November 12, 2013 9:20 AM ET

Anyone who has listened to much Bruce Springsteen has surely noticed the singer's fondness for Biblical allusions in his lyrics, now Rutgers University is making a study of them.

The college in New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be offering a freshman seminar examining the theology of Springsteen, according to a Q&A on the Rutgers Today PR site with Azzan Yadin-Israel, the course professor. The class will cover Springsteen's entire discography, from 1973's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. to last year's Wrecking Ball.

15 Insanely Great Bruce Springsteen Songs You've Never Heard

"Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption – crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land – and the sanctity of the everyday," Yadin-Israel said. "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."

Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies and classics, usually teaches on early rabbinic literature, but has been a Springsteen fan since he was in middle school.

Other colleges have offered Springsteen-based courses in the past, Time magazine notes, including a sociology class at Princeton and a history course at the University of Rochester on Springsteen and the working class experience in America.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com