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Rutgers plans Bruce Springsteen theology class

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, N.J., 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.”

“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.”

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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