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September 22, 2006


Thanks for all the plugs ;-)

Those are some smart darn assignments you've come up with there. Great options for ways to wrestle with the work. And I love the final way your organization came out (tho I still balk at the "Scriptural genres" thing, can't help it). Have linked you on the book blog.

Beth, I would have been disappointed if you didn't put up a bit of a protest regarding use of genres. I promise I'll be careful: no prooftexting (of songs or scriptures) and plenty of respect for each song as a whole artistic unit. I'm also trying not to play the "now what does this song mean?" game, but will try to understand (is that possible with a U2 song?) how a song contributes to a larger theme. Thanks again.


Great stuff.

Let me know any way i can help. i think you know i teach u2 and culture for leaders in our network of churches.

i love the inteviews the students will be doing, feel free to give them my contact info..i've been moved spiritually by U2 since...well, the year i met Jesus..and you...1982!!

Taking Blodge to hawaii, huh?

Hey, Dave. Thanks for offering your time and being interested in the class. I will definitely give your name to my students if they are looking for interviewees. When I think of the historic crowd, I think of you, Dave Kleschold, Larry Dunn, Greg Stobbe, DJ Janzen, etc. Now we're all taking our kids to U2 concerts!
Since you've been teaching about U2, can you give some key differences between your approach and mine? That might open the door for some other people to respond as well! Keep in touch.
Wanna join us for Hula Pie at Duke's Canoe Club? Aloha!

"It goes without saying that this course will require students to do much more than read. Another important required resource is Jann S. Wenner's interviews with Bono for Rolling Stone magazine. I am having students listen to the actual interviews rather than read the article because they are much more extensive (almost four hours) and they are Bono's uninterpreted words. I believe it is important for students to hear the passion in Bono's voice for themselves. I also have them reading and researching on the internet, spending at least an hour a week on Beth Maynard's site, U2 Sermons."

I just wanted to say that this section of your syllabus has to be what stands out to me most distinctly, for two reasons: 1) Hearing Paul's own words when talking to Jann makes all the difference when analyzing how the band themselves processed through the creation of, recording, and performing each and every album. The kind of insight he provides is invaluable to the class that you're conducting (not to mention hilarious when Paul talks about Bob, Bruce, The Stones, & others); & 2) Providing them with access to all of the work that Beth regularly does to collect the best (& often worst) of cultural commentary upon U2 is like handing your students FREE research material. If they come here, they can just chase her Blogroll around (not to mention the book itself) for a wealth of information.

I'm excited to see how things are going in your class; I just wish I could be there myself.

Love & Peace Or Else Indeed....


Responding to the comment from Adam Newton. Just an FYI, Bono has stated that he dislikes being called Paul. Bono is not a stage name it is a name bestowed on him by friends and that he has embraced completely. He commented recently that about the only person left that didn't call him Bono was his father and that was probably just to piss him off. In addition to that, people who are not hardcore fans will probably be confused because they will not know who you are talking about when you call him Paul.

All apologies Dana. I didn't mean to offend, come off as being flippant, piss people off, or confuse other readers. I know that Bono isn't a stage name; I guess I was trying to be a little bit over-the-top in using the birth name.

Thanks for the polite reprimand. It is appreciated.

Tim, sure.

a lot of similarities in our syllabus..but here may be a few differences..

Since my class is in the context of tecahing pastors, missionaries, leaders in "practical ministry skills," I often show clips of, say, the Boston version of "Streets" (which was shown as halftaime of NBA playoffs), Super Bowl version of "Streets", and now of course the Superdome Medley and look at ways the band connectsand communicates
spiritually with a congregation where not all are Christian...how does Bono pastor, prophesy, evangelize, lead worship.

I spend a lot of time comparing the 90s style and mode..which Bono dressing up as McPhisto/deveil is a model for what the catholics often called "holy fool", using irony,self-deprecation, theatre, radical honesty("Jesus help me...a f&6%$## ed up world it is"), folling teh theme of doubt "Like faith needs a doubt", "uncertainty can be a guiding light"("Jesus help me...a f&6%$## ed up world it is")etc vs the 2000s version of U2..more upfront about faith but not cheesy or sloganeering...(as in the new version of "First Time" in which the ending was changed..

spend a lot of time smashing the sacred/secular distinction, sexual/spiritual etc

U2 canon compared to Psalms, Song of Sol, Ecclesiastes and other bib lit

i look at the band as a model of family/friendshipBody...somreal messy early drafts
re: theology of death in "Bomb", and theology of prayer a la Elevation are at www.davestuff.blogspot.com

PS:i love having pastors read articles about U2 in "secular" sources and ask "Having read this, What can the church learn from U2"..
like this piece
in WIRED magazine:


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