Thursday, 9 February 2006

Essential popular music for theologians

“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the centre of the jaunt.” —Bono

“A God enthroned beyond time in timeless eternity would have to renounce music.... Are we to suppose that we mortals, in possessing such a wonder as music, are more privileged than God?” —Victor Zuckerkandl

“I find the religiosity and the philosophy in the music. I don’t find it anywhere else.... The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs.” —Bob Dylan

My old friend Tim Hormon, an Aussie pastor in Canada, is a rock and roll aficionado. So I asked Tim to come up with a list of essential popular music for theologians. He has chosen 15 albums—not simply his favourites, but 15 albums that have been important to him for theological reasons. What do you think?

1. Moby, 18
2. Jeff Buckley, Grace
3. R.E.M., Out of Time
4. Ben Harper, The Will to Live
5. U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind/War
6. Radiohead, OK Computer
7. Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans
8. Bob Dylan, Saved
9. Pedro the Lion, Achilles Heel
10. Sigur Ros, Agaetis Byrjun
11. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Boatman’s Call
12. Explosions in the Sky, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
13. The Never Ending White Lights, Goodbye Friends of the Heavenly Bodies
14. Over the Rhine, Ohio
15. And just for fun: O Brother Where Art Thou? (soundtrack)

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