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The Gospel according to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic (Gospel According To...) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   197
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.51" Width: 5.67" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 16, 2008
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664231691  
EAN  9780664231699  


Availability  0 units.




Item Description...
Overview
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, a driver rolled down his window and shouted to Bruce Springsteen, "We need you-now!" A few days later Springsteen appeared as part of a telethon to help victims' families, and not long after released The Rising, with "Into the Fire" as a tribute to the 343 lost firefighters. It wasn't the first or last time America would need the Boss-his support kept the Vietnam Veterans of America from disbanding, and his social critique since 9/11 has been loud in its protest of the Iraq War. According to Symynkywicz, Born in the USA is not only Springsteen's greatest album, it represents the ambiguity of his gospel, his lover's quarrel with an America he loves and fumes against. Symynkywicz explores these theological and political questions with the deftness of a Harvard-trained minister and a great Springsteen fan. He has clearly pored over these lyrics, multi-layered as they are, and sifted them through a theological filter. At times he offers a bit too much detail. Other times you'll want to stop reading, turn on the Boss and dance in the dark, maybe even praying while you do.

Publishers Description

In this engaging book, Jeffrey Symynkywicz, a minister and dedicated Springsteen fan, shows us that Bruce Spingsteen's enduring importance stems largely from the rich spiritual themes that run throughout his albums. With a lively and engaging style, Symynkywicz probes each of Springsteen's albums and shows how his music helps make sense of the many threads of our lives, including experiences of sin and redemption, fear and courage, and--above all--faith, hope, and love.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Christmas gift  Feb 17, 2010
This was a Christmas gift for my sister in law but she loved it and I would rate this book as a great buy.
 
Well-intentioned, but lightweight  Aug 23, 2009
This is a pretty lightweight analysis of the deeper themes of Bruce Springsteen's songs. His exploration of the songs would seem to be on par with an average college essay. Some of the song discussions are only a sentence or two long, and many times the author fails to go in-depth in his interpretations of the songs. For example, how could someone who writes a book exploring spiritual themes (especially one who is a minister) fail to recognize the symbolism of rebirth through water in "The River"? This will be a disappointing book for anyone who wants more than a Cliff's Notes analysis of Springsteen's works.
 
Thought-provoking for all  Mar 10, 2009
One does not have to be a die-hard Springsteen fan to enjoy this thought-provoking study of each of Bruce's albums from Greetings from Asbury Park in 1973 to Magic. It is fascinating to follow Springsteen's evolution and response to such life-altering events of our generation as 9/11, the war in Iraq, and the Bush years. I enjoyed the analysis of the lyrics, album by album and the memories that many of these songs evoked. In the end, we're left with the message that salvation will come only through love, faith and care for each other. I have bought several copies of The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen for friends and family. Keep working on a dream! Can't wait for the next chapter!
 
Don't judge a book by its cover!  Mar 8, 2009
Unfortunately the best part of this book is its cover. It all goes downhill from there. It is a very superficial look at the prose and poetry of Bruce Springsteen. There is no spiritual and or poetic insight into the very profound lyrics. In all due respect in order to due such a profound undertaking it will require many more pages and perhaps further listening and attending more shows; in order to allow the author(Bruce) to present his written words in a prolific and spiritual way. I would have liked to seen deeper analogies and imagries, spiritual or Christian, throughout the book. A template that could be used is Christopher Rick's book entitled Dylan's Vision of sin.It is broken up into three main chapter's.The Sins.The Virtues and The Heavenly Graces. For those interested in Dylan's work and or Christianity should give it a look.Obviously you get my point and I am one of those 100+ show types so one could say I am a little biased. I do applaud the authors attempt but it does need more research. Perhaps someday a writer will take the ardous task of completing such a project, untill that day at least we have another new CD to delve into.
 
Rock and redemption? Absolutely!  Aug 23, 2008
As a seminary grad, I have long been interested in the intersection between faith and popular culture. And as a confessed long-time diehard Springsteen fan, I found myself nodding in agreement with much of this book, as the music of Bruce Springsteen has certainly been a part of my own spiritual journey. Music has the power to move us viscerally, and there are times when the right song at the right moment articulates that which is too deep for us to verbalize ourseleves. Many others have noted the explicit religious references in Springsteen's body of work; he himself has admitted in recent years how his Catholic upbringing has shaped his worldview and permeated his music. But Symynkywicz offers deeper analysis and new insights grounded in sound theology and presented in an engaging style. The book would also lend itself to use in small group discussion for both the casual listener and the devoted fan.
 

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