Bob Dylan’s spirituality and its impact on pop culture are explored in Scott Marshall’s book, “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life,” coming out June 20.
Marshall says it’s important to explore Dylans’ viewpoints on Judaism, Christianity and other parts of his spirituality in order to fully understand the impact he’s had – a legacy that began in the 1960’s when he released hits like “The Times They Are a-Changin” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” noted The Hollywood Reporter.
Those songs became a major part of “the civil rights and anti-war movements,” at the time.
In an interview with THR’s Paul Bond, Marshall spoke about the legendary singer and the new book.
“I’m sure it hasn’t been an easy trip,” Marshall said about Dylan’s faith.
“As it turns out, it’s tough to ignore the impact of Dylan’s Jewish roots and the impact that Jesus has had on Dylan – they’re both a part of his story,” Marshall said when asked why he chose now to write the book. “He just turned 76, seemingly past retirement age, but he’s still on the road and in the studio. And last October there was plenty of controversy when he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.”
“Trust me when I say it’s a similar situation going on when it comes to his spiritual journey over the decades: plenty of intriguing stories, competing voices, humor, conflict,” he added. “Dylan sings and speaks when he feels like it. When he feels like going silent, he does that.”
Marshall was also asked about why Dylan hasn’t just come out and been upfront about his faith instead of leaving a lot out there to be speculated about.
“I think at times he gets aggravated by the attention paid to it; other times, he might chuckle or roll his eyes, but sometimes he’s taken the time and energy to share his personal beliefs in a very public way, usually through his songwriting and playing in a band onstage,” Marshall said. “After once being asked what his religious views were, he asked the interviewer why people didn’t ask Billy Joel similar questions.”
“He also once told an interviewer that some people want to know where he’s spiritually at because they don’t know where they’re at,” he added.
Dylan’s Nobel lecture was released by the Nobel Foundation on Monday, noted The Washington Post.
Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature in October of 2016.
“If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important,” Dylan said in his lecture – a speech traditionally given by Nobel winners.
“The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent,” Sara Danius, secretary of the Swedish Academy, said about Dylan’s lecture, which was written and then later recorded in Los Angeles.
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