Jeffrey B. Symynkywicz is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and a Unitarian minister in Stoughton, Massachusetts. He is the author of five books on recent Eastern European history.
From the Conclusion Much of the power of Springsteen’s work—like any decent art—emerges only from the resonance it creates in the soul of the observer. Whether or not Springsteen’s words reverberate with some particular meaning for us depends to a great degree on what we bring to our conversation with them: how they reflect (or don’t) our experience, outlook, and aspiration. If there is a “religion” of Springsteen, then it is one that places great importance on individual freedom of belief. Likewise, saying (as this book does) that there is a “gospel” according to Bruce Springsteen—some good news that this world of ours fails to hear (and heed) at its perilis-not the same as saying that Springsteen presents, in his writings, any sort of systematic (or even especially consistent) theology.
There is within the Springsteen canon neither the consistency of doctrine for which a staunch creedalist might hope, nor sufficient hermeneutical density to please a professor of theology. Nonetheless, Springsteen’s assembled works do present “good tidings” to those who hear them. As we listen to Springsteen, certain themes of hope, joy, and challenge emerge clearly.