PLaying catchup: last fall the Society for Biblical Literature released another volume of their "Teaching the Bible" series, this one entitled Teaching the Bible through Popular Culture and the Arts. In briefly scanning it, I was pleased to see Get Up Off Your Knees cited. The book discusses the "wealth of pedagogical possibilities" for using the arts (music, film, poetry, visual arts) to teach the Bible (i.e. the focus is not on understanding popular culture per se), for example noting that U2's "40" allows discussion of how one Psalm can have paradoxical sentiments, could be used to help students grasp "the nature of Israelite faith," etc. A very wide variety of other artists in many media are cited, which may interest readers here.

The book's comments on "The First Time," which suggest it can help teach the concept of what a Biblical parable is, also offer a reading that I've never heard: "Given the anti-materialist themes in a number of U2's songs, one wonders if the son refuses the keys because the father is a rich man who dresses the part and is eager to bestow his wealth on his son." Does one?

No comments: