“Biblical background is critical to understanding these songs, and it provides a much richer emotional response. But it’s not traditional. No one is preaching to you.” – Azzan Yadin-Israel
Bruce Springsteen’s words and music have been part of the American landscape for nearly half a century and are today cherished by millions worldwide. Indeed, Springsteen has been known to inspire religious devotion among his fans, and his shows with the E Street Band are often compared to a revivalist congregation. However, there has not been a comprehensive scholarly study of the biblical and theological motifs in Springsteen’s lyrics.
Reading Springsteen’s songs as one would a poem, The Grace of God and the Grace of Man sheds new light on Springsteen’s work. Azzan Yadin Israel’s close readings of Springsteen’s songs provide a wealth of local insights as well as a new critical framework for the appreciation of this major American artist.
Author, Azzan Yadin- Israel is a Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He holds a B.A. from Hebrew University and Ph. D. from University of California Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union.