Baptist Bookworm and Andrew Davies

Baptist Bookworm, the author of a book on Revelation, points us to an SBL forum piece about U2's use of scripture in The Joshua Tree which was posted earlier this week (Baptist Bookworm: Biblical Imagery in the Music of U2). The SBL piece by Andrew Davies looks at how U2 "[redeployed Biblical traditions] to work towards their original affect, but in the quite different context of 1980s America." I also want to highlight this sentence from Davies which I think is quite insightful on a wider scale than just Joshua Tree: "[U2] want us, if you like, to find faith in the wilderness, but need us to recognize just how much of a desert the global community finds itself in before they can offer their pillar of fire for us to follow."

Having just read Neil McCormick's gushing appraisal of No Line on the Horizon this morning, that sentence reminded me of McCormick's claim that the album "makes love like it's making war." Well, have U2 ever done anything else? Don't they time after time demonstrate the conviction that real love in a fallen world entails recognizing the reality of the desert first? Staring love's absence in the face and then taking up the sword of the Spirit to do battle? "Making love like you're making war" goes all the way back to those early tapes of Bono and Edge at the retreat for Christian musicians, if not further.

While I'm linking, a later post on the same Baptist Bookworm blog gathers some U2 citations of Revelation itself (from the @U2 archive of Biblical references).

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