Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Busy Being Born Again: Bob Dylan's Christian Philosophy

In 2006 I contributed a chapter to the book, Bob Dylan and Philosophy: It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Thinking) (Chicago: Open Court). Here's a link to my chapter, "Busy Being Born Again: Bob Dylan's Christian Philosophy." Enjoy.

Here's an excerpt (notes omitted):

"In his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan tells his readers about his own intellectual development and the books and writers he had read in the early stages of his career in Greenwich Village. These books, though not treatises on theology, and their writers, not always Christians or sympathetic to the cause of Christ, are works and thinkers that were immersed in, shaped by, reacting to, or influenced the formation of the Christian narrative.What is the Christian narrative? It is, in its broadest terms, a story of betrayal, separation, and redemption that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is a linear history that began at some finite point in the past and is destined to end at some point in the future, the eschaton. Specifically, the Christian narrative is the story of humanity’s relationship to God, humanity’s separation from God, the reconciliation of one with the other by means of the death and resurrection of God’s Son, and His eventual return and the establishment of his Kingdom on earth."

Read the whole chapter here.


tdunbar said...

Enjoyed this article. Re Time Out of Mind, I think one can also hear a passion sequence in that album:

Till I Fell In Love With You -- nailed to the Cross (can even hear the hammering)

Not Dark Yet -- lifted up, lama sabachthani

Cold Irons Bound -- descending into Hell, bearing our sins

Make You Feel My Love -- risen, reminding that he crawled down the avenue for us

Can't Wait - groom's 'impatient' lovesong to the Church

Kenneth Lobb said...

Great book chapter, I read it all. Of course this is the correct take on Dylan's strain of faith. I figured there'd be clues going all the way back to 1962, but you took the time to bring them out. Thank you for presenting this is in the way you did. Dylan may be doing more for Christianity these days than the pastors and priests (certainly the priests).