June 21, 2017

Theologies of Springsteen Subject of Rutgers Talk

Rutgers University–New Brunswick faculty member Azzan Yadin-Israel will speak about his book The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen (Lingua Press, 2016) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick. The event is free and open to the public.

The Grace of God and the Grace of Man is divided into three parts. The first section traces the evolution of theological ideas in Springsteen’s early albums with a focus on critiques of traditional religious institutions and the possibility of redemption on the open road, a notion that Springsteen ultimately rejects in Darkness on the Edge of Town. The second section looks at records after Darkness and Springsteen’s refashioning of three common religious concepts: sin, grace, and the struggle within. The book’s final section — named “Springsteen’s Midrash” after the ancient commentaries on Hebrew scriptures — looks at songs with explicitly biblical source material, such as “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Jesus Was an Only Son,” to examine how Springsteen recasts traditional biblical stories to grapple with his own uncertain faith.

A professor of Jewish studies and Classics in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick, Mr. Yadin-Israel teaches courses on rabbinic literature, classical Jewish philosophy, the history of Jewish mysticism, and Plato. Following the presentation, he will take questions and sign copies of the book. The Rutgers Office of Summer and Winter Sessions will sponsor a drawing for 10 free copies, and additional books will be available for purchase courtesy of the Rutgers Barnes and Noble.