The Boss’ word is making it into the world of academia.
Time reports that New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen will be the subject of a theology course at Rutgers University.
The course will cover Bruce’s discography beginning with Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973) and ending with his most recent work Wrecking Ball (2012). The freshman class's instructor, Professor Azzab Yadin-Israel, is a Jewish studies and classics specialist who sees many parallels between Springsteen’s work and religion.
Here is an excerpt from the official news release:
Interestingly, Springsteen refers more often to the stories of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) than the New Testament.
On a literary level, Springsteen often recasts biblical figures and stories into the American landscape. The narrator of “Adam Raised a Cain” describes his strained relationship with his father through the prism of the biblical story of the first father and son; Apocalyptic storms accompany a boy’s tortured transition into manhood in “The Promised Land,” and the first responders of 9/11 rise up to “someplace higher” in the flames, much as Elijah the prophet ascended in a chariot of fire (“Into the Fire”).
Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption — crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land — and the sanctity of the everyday.
Before Rutgers, Princeton University offered a sociology course on “Bruce Springsteen’s America” and University of Rochester also offered a history course on the legendary musician.