Scott Calhoun, director of the U2 academic conference, who long ago wrote a review essay on Get Up Off Your Knees for Books and Culture, is back five years later in the same publication with a thorough, balanced, and thoughtful look at the state of and the prospects for U2 studies. An excerpt (in which are suggested topics yet to be fully explored):
New directions? How has U2 instructed and delighted millions of fans from all walks and faiths with the basic biblical narrative of creation, fall, and redemption without being thought of as a "Christian" band? What does U2 do in their concerts which makes many say they have their religious experiences there, but not in churches? What tensions are present and necessary in U2's work to produce spiritually instructive works of art? Which songs best constitute a U2 psalter for postmodernity? Why does U2 employ the best talents in the live entertainment industry and devote so much time, energy, and material resources to filling stadiums — in order to lead audiences in singing songs of sacrifice and surrender?
Thanks to Scott for a great review of the literature so far... and for his kind words about this blog, too.