November 2, 2017

"The latest installment in [Bob Dylan's] 'Bootleg Series' provides new perspective on the songwriter’s controversial Christian years."

Writes John Pareles in "Bob Dylan’s Songs for the Soul, Revisited and Redeemed" (NYT). A commenter named Luciano perceptively questions:
Why are these Christian years considered 'controversial'? If Dylan had instead gone through a Buddhist phase or gay phase would anybody consider those years controversial?

Dylan is a stone cold genius and a truly original artists, totally incapable of following fashions or trends. His willingness to explore Christianity is perfect proof of this.

15 comments:

Ferananidinande said...

Bob Dylan interviewed by Chloe Talbot - "So, Bob, what religion are you converting to now?"

madAsHell said...

I've always thought that Christianity was a less orthodox Judaism with salvation.

madAsHell said...

....and bacon!!

traditionalguy said...

Bob is a member of the chosen Hebrew Tribe, and as such, he has the covenant to hear from the Ruach Hakodesh directly without an intermediary. How else do you think the Hebrew Prophets get their stuff.

The miracle is that we non Jews got in on it.

Mike Sylwester said...

Paul Simon too had a Christian period in his life. The Simon and Garfunkel album Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, released in October 1964, was composed from a Christian perspective.

Simon was inspired by the Christian Gospel music of the Civil Rights Movement.

After Simon graduated from college, he moved (alone, without Garfunkel) to England, where he spent the summer of 1964. During that summer he lived platonically with a woman named Judith Piepe, who was a European Jew who had converted to Christianity and become a full-time social worker for her church.

Essentially Simon too had became a Jew who had converted to Christianity. During this period, Simon and Garfunkel called themselves Paul Kane and Artie Garr.

During the summer of 1964, however, one of Simon's college classmates, a personal friend, Andrew Goodman, was murdered in Mississippi. Because Goodman too was a Jew, Simon was inspired to return to his own Jewish roots.

Therefore the album Wednesday Morning, 3 AM -- although essentially a Christian album -- was released with the two singers' Jewish names, Simon and Garfunkel.

I have written about this in an article titled "The Meaning of the Song 'Sounds of Silence'".

http://seward-concordia-neighborhood.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-meaning-of-song-sounds-of-silence.html

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Whenever Islamic supremacists kill innocents, we gt to be reminded of Timothy McVeigh. Although I don't think he was a Christian. No matter. Media(D) lie.

Never a reminder of one of the worst mass shootings in the US was the Orlando night club shooting. An Islamic supremacist killed over 50 and his dad supported Hillary. Media(D) quiet and will never mention it again.

YoungHegelian said...

Dylan's "Christian years" were not a gentle "Here are the artistic fruits of my new faith" thing. They were concerts of preaching & good ole time hellfire & damnation theology. They weren't Dylan concerts with a gospel tinge. They were old time gospel concerts (including a chorus of black gospel singers) with a tinge of Dylan, with Dylan not performing any of his older works.

This was all done before an audience who, at first, had little clue of what they were walking into. The overlapping set of Dylan's audience & the audience for hard-core Gospel was always probably pretty small. And even among that set, the majority probably wanted their Gospel from Billy Preston & not from Bob Dylan.

FullMoon said...
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Earnest Prole said...
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Earnest Prole said...

I absolutely love Dylan's Christian phase, and loved it at the time. That said, its sheer fanatical wackiness should not be minimized. Dylan would hector crowds with Pat Robertson–style incantations of doom that made clear he was far more interested in the Old Testament God of Wrath than the New Testament God of Love. His spoken sermons turned off far more Christians than he turned on. So yes, controversial is an apt word.

I understand your intuition that you must apply a critical filter to everything you read in the Times, but in this case the filter obfuscates more than it clarifies.

Bob said...

"Dylan is a stone cold genius and a truly original artists, totally incapable of following fashions or trends. His willingness to explore Christianity is perfect proof of this."

He converted after being totally amazed by the SparkNotes version of the Bible.

Meade said...

"His willingness to explore Christianity is perfect proof of this."

Bob wasn't just willing to explore Christianity. He willingly converted to Christianity, willingly accepting Jesus as his savior.

Very different from exploring a Buddhist phase or a gay phase.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It's controversial because the cool kids don't like it.

Will Cate said...

LOL... it was only controversial to Jewish music critics.

dustbunny said...

Dylan married one of his backup singers, a Christian gospel singer, I always thought that was an influence on his conversion but hard to know with Bob.