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Bruce Springsteen’s Religious Themes Explored in College Course

Bruce Springsteen
Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

Throughout his career, Bruce Springsteen has often drawn upon religious imagery to punctuate his songs. Those themes are the subject of a new seminar at New Jersey’s Rutgers University.

The course, called ‘Bruce Springsteen’s Theology,’ looks at songs where Springsteen’s use of Biblical motifs has been both explicit and implicit. Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies and classics and longtime Springsteen fan, will teach the course.

“On a literary level, Springsteen often recasts biblical figures and stories into the American landscape,” Yadin-Israel told Rutgers Today, citing songs like ‘Adam Raised a Cain,’ ‘Into the Fire’ and ‘The Promised Land.’ “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.”

Yadin-Israel also noted that, despite Springsteen’s Roman Catholic upbringing, the singer “refers more often to the stories of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) than the New Testament.”

The semester-long, one-credit course will be open only to 20 freshmen.

Next: Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Political Songs

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