Monday, April 11, 2005

Bob Dylan's Religion

I find Bob Dylan’s religious persona and the religious elements in his songs fascinating. In Chronicles, he touches lightly on the influence of religion in his life, and his upbringing does not seem to have been very religious. But from very early in his career, Bob’s songs included extensive Biblical references, both Jewish and Christian. Bob was probably surrounded by Christian influences while growing up, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, being the Midwest in the 1950’s. In Chronicles, I felt touched by Bob’s description of how much he loved playing a Roman soldier in a Passion play when he was a teenager. Bob was also a student of American folk music, much of which is chock-full of Christian imagery, themes, and morals. Many doubt the sincerity of Bob’s religious expressions, but I don’t intend to get involved in that. I tend to take people at face value. However, I will say that I think Bob is a master at writing songs about whatever happens to be blowing in the wind.

The following is a fascinating article about Bob Dylan’s religion from a Jewish author: Radio Hazak

The following is a fascinating meditation on the song Desolation Row by a Trappist Monk: Father Matthew of Gethsemani Abbey

And check this out too: My Jewish Learning

And the following book review ends with something the late Pope John Paul II said to Bob Dylan: Christianity Today


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