Bob Dylan has been called one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, the voice of a generation. It was found that 89 of 246 songs or liner notes of Dylan's records contained Bible references, evenly split between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. With songs like "Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Slow Moving Rain," is Dylan a Christian? This is the question Scott Marshall tackles in his new book, Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life.
Never before has a book like this one delved into the spiritual odyssey of cultural icon Bob Dylan. Tracking an American original--from his Jewish roots to his controversial embrace of Jesus to his enduring legacy as the composer of the Tempest album--Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life delivers the story of a man in dogged pursuit of redemption.
Based on years of research and original interviews, this book sorts through the myths and misunderstandings and reveals Dylan to be both traditional and radical in the way he expresses his spiritual quest for purpose and meaning. Call Dylan whatever you want, but the name won't stick, said foreword writer and film director Scott Derrickson. What does stick is his music, in part because his songs contain a deep, abiding spirituality that moves listeners like me more than the songs of any other artist.
Dylan has said he's "a true believer." Carolyn Dennis, a former wife, told Marshall that when she asked Dylan whether he was still a believer, he answered, "I believe the whole Bible." In 2001, Dylan told an interviewer, "I've had a God-given sense of destiny. This is what I was put on earth to do." Yet when Rolling Stone asked whether he was born again, Dylan responded, "I would never call it that, I've never said I'm born again. That's just a media term."
Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life bridges the gap between purpose and meaning in grand fashion. It offers readers an informative, entertaining, and nuanced look into Bob Dylan s spiritual odyssey. Today, there is not a Dylan book in existence that exclusively focuses on his spiritual odyssey through years of research and interviews.
Well researched and energetically argued, a challenging new view of a complicated man.
-Eric Alterman, award-winning author and columnist at The Nation
Bob Dylan is a Jew and a Christian and a steadfast contrarian. Scott Marshall provides a balanced, comprehensive account of the Nobel Prize winner's spiritual life-a mysterious journey of Biblical proportions.
-Don Lattin, longtime religion writer at the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of Changing Our Minds
Mr. Marshall skillfully weaves his tale with relevant quotes as Dylan travels from seeing the Bible as 'just literature' to believing 'in the Bible, literally'.
-Andrew Muir, author of One More Night: Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour and Shakespeare in Cambridge: A Celebration of the Shakespeare Festival