A new college course offered by New Jersey’s Rutgers University is set to study the religious themes found in Springsteen’s music.
You read that right. “Bruce Springsteen’s Theology” is a one-credit, one-semester course that is currently available to first-year students. Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies, came up with the idea for the course. Of course, he’s a big fan of The Boss.
In an interview with Rutgers Today, Yadin-Israel explained that he doesn’t expect “that (any of his students) will become a Springsteen scholar” but hopes they “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.”
He also stated that examples of biblical references are found in many of Springsteen’s lyrics, explaining that “the seminar includes lyrics of songs from Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey, Springsteen’s first album, all the way through Wrecking Ball.”
“Bruce Springsteen’s Theology” falls under the school’s Byrne Seminars label, a series of introductory classes with a maximum of 20 students.