8.05.2009

Author Interview

Here is an interview with Greg Garrett, author of the most recent, and the most simplistic and generic, book in the series of (now 4) books making the overall point that U2 have a spiritual component to their music, We Get To Carry Each Other. Anyone who has at all followed the outpouring of writing on this very popular topic over the years will find no new insights in the work, but judging from the tone of the interviewer there are still people to whom the basics are quite fresh. You may want to check it out even for that perspective. (FYI, people familiar with the literature may be a bit perplexed at some of the representations made in the interview.)

8 comments:

Megan said...

Actually, I disagree with your assessment. I think that the book does a very good job of talking about the Christian walk and uses u2's music and life as a supplement, rather than starting with u2's music and supplementing it with christian theology.

U2 Sermons said...

Hi Megan, actually what you say there is pretty much the same as one of my reactions: the book does not give the impression of starting with U2's music and serious attention paid to it, but uses U2's music and life as a supplement to make points about Christianity. I don't think that's a useful way to deal with most art.

Megan said...

I don't know, I think art can be used both ways. In some ways, I liked this book more than books that started with u2's art. At times, I felt that some of those books stretched u2's beliefs and walk to make them fit the writers interpretation of the music. Here, the gospel is clearly presented and u2's music and life are only used when they line up with the gospel. That being said, I disagreed with the writer's assertion that no members of u2 had an active presence in church...I thought I had heard rumours to the contrary...

David said...

Not sure who you are from your profile page, but to the host writer here ...
Thanks for the link to our piece. Appreciate it.
Your assessment about the approach is spot on, I'd say. Our online magazine stems from the professional ranks of religion newswriting—a profession now almost gone from American newspapers.
Our stories serve as introductions for our readership, which is heavily American but also is in other parts of the English-speaking world.
We wrote about Greg's book because it's fresh and it's also aimed at general readers. We're particularly focused on the roughly 1 million small groups that are looking for books to use in groups—and Greg's book is pretty good for that. It comes out of the Presbyterian publishing house.
Having said that—I'd warmly welcome a piece from you, "U2 Sermons," if you'd want to write one for our readers. We're nearing the 2-year mark and, at this point, we don't pay for pieces in our magazine.
But you've clearly got a deeper grasp of U2's work and themes.
What I'm suggesting is a fairly short piece—maybe 500 words—just describing the other 3 books on this theme.
I'd be happy to share that with our readers, link back to your site—and you might find some folks want to go deeper than Greg's book.
In any case, Thanks!
You can reach me via Email links on our site. It's readthespirit@gmail.com

U2 Sermons said...

Thanks for your comment David: I have emailed you. Also, I hadn't realized that when we shifted everything over Blogger stopped displaying my name on my profile. Sorry to seem mysterious; I have fixed that.

Dougie W. said...

I really liked the book. True that some of the themes have been dealt with in other places but some of those things people might not have ready access to, so for that reason alone the book is useful. I like the way it focuses on three main themes: Belief, Community and Social Justice and provides not only a U2 perspective but a fine Biblical approach that is very practical. I'll be encouraging others to read it.

U2 Sermons said...

Glad you enjoyed the book, Dougie. I'm not sure what you mean about "no ready access" though -- the similar introductory books by Stockman, Vagacs, and Scharen are just as easily found as this one on Amazon and elsewhere, and have been widely reviewed and excerpted -- and all 3 are more thorough, more factually reliable, and trying harder to represent fairly the foci of U2's own art than this one.

Dougie W. said...

Of course I know about those books I was really meaning that people don't have ready access to a lot of the other discussion that seems to go on in other places regarding U2, like the conferences or academic discussion.

Even in Church here in Scotland there would not be much discussion about them. I have used material from the Damaris Trust before with the kids that I work with and when fitting I quote the band and use their music.

Of course I also recommend people check out this blog because it has a wealth of great information and links to some of those other places where discussion is taking place. Sorry for not being so clear first time around.