cover image The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen

The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen

Azaan Yadin-Israel. Lingua, $16.99 trade paper (202p) ISBN 978-0-692-71851-3

Yadin-Israel, professor of Jewish studies and classics at Rutgers University, brings his Scripture scholarship to a study of Bruce Springsteen’s impressive musical career. The author is well acquainted with the formidable body of academic work on Springsteen’s life and songs and gets right into establishing his own perspective while constructively critiquing others. He highlights the themes of grace, sin, and redemption with references from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Yadin-Israel knows Springsteen’s work well and includes a number of unreleased songs from his early years, as well as the more popular hits, astutely illustrating how the themes that occupy the musician’s work shift throughout his career. This allows him to place Springsteen’s songs in conversation with one another, as the songwriter draws at various times from multiple sources of religious imagery, including overtly Catholic concepts, the prophets in the Jewish scriptures, and other biblical figures—including a particularly illuminating section comparing the apocalyptic imagery in both the Book of Revelation and Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town. This is a fresh addition to the burgeoning body of scholarship on one of America’s most famous musicians, who’s little known for his spiritual interests. (BookLife)