Rutgers University Will Offer Freshman Seminar On Springsteen
Philadelphia, Pa (WOGL) – A Rutgers University professor is bringing his appreciation for “The Boss” into his college classroom.
Is he teaching his students about the history of Rock ‘N’ Roll? No, but he will be examining the religious undertones in Springsteen’s lyrics as well as the references made to biblical stories in his songs.
In an interview with Rutgers Today, Azzan Yadin-Israel, an Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Classics, said there is no doubt that that Springsteen’s Roman Catholic upbringing plays a huge role in his songwriting process.
“Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption — crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land — and the sanctity of the everyday,” Yadin-Israel stated. “Springsteen tries to drag the power of religious symbols that are usually relegated to some transcendent reality into our lived world.”
Yadin-Israel said that the seminar, a researched-based, one credit course open to first-year students, will cover music from Greetings from Asbury Park all the way up to Bruce’s 2012 album Wrecking Ball. The goal, he said, is not to convert non-believers into Springsteen fans.
“There’s no expectation that anyone will become a Springsteen scholar,” Yadin-Israel stated. “I do hope the students gain an appreciation for a particular way of thinking about texts, an attentive engagement of an author’s work, and an understanding of the broader contexts –political, literary, theological, etc.– that inform a work.”