"it is love and only love that can rattle the 'iron cage' of late-modern capitalism"

The most recent issue of the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture features an article called "Burned Over Bono: U2’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Messiah and His Religious Politic." (It would be quite interesting to know what percentage of people recognize the "burned over" allusion in the title before it's explained.) As with many articles, the term "Bono" is unfortunately used in several places to mean "U2," and this slighting of the creative work of the other members of the band is a shame. U2 diehards will also see moments where recourse to books like U2 Live or Bono: In Conversation or U2 by U2 could have been helpful. But overall, interesting and creative thesis argued interestingly and creatively. And hey, our book is namechecked in a footnote.

Within the last decade, many fans and members of the popular press have labeled Bono, lead singer of the band U2, a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Messiah,” because of his global humanitarian efforts and relentless effusion of theological and political messages in song and concert. Focusing on the relationship between religious practice and secular activism, I argue that Bono has performed a secularized soteriology–a public prescription of spiritual and economic salvation unbounded by religious institutions–that conjures an imagined World Polity; and this message has been packaged and delivered in ways that blur distinctions between show business and modern revival techniques.

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