Bob Dylan: Conversion to Christianity
Episode date - August 16, 2007
Whatever the reasons may have been for Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity, they confounded many who knew him, and virtually everyone else who only knew him through his art.
Some people say that a vision of Jesus Christ appeared to him one night in his hotel room. Other explanations are somewhat more plebian. Regardless of how it happened, or why, Dylan’s conversion was a deeply personal matter, and not something to be taken lightly. Like many born-again Christians, his conversion was absolute, and was not open to discussion or debate.
For the first time in his career (except perhaps during the politicized folk era for which he was branded the ‘voice of a generation’), Dylan’s lyrics were dogmatic and unyielding. It may have mystified his fans, but the passion of his words brought inherent strength to these compositions, even if you didn’t abide his convictions. At the time, much of Dylan’s audience was critical or inappropriately condescending, but a retrospective glance at this material discerns songs of great beauty, told from the perspective of someone who had found an inner strength that provided true meaning to his existence. How in the world could anyone argue with that?
So, in an attempt at revisionist history, this show attempts to recast Dylan’s born-again stage as one of the most creative and melodic periods in his remarkably varied career.
Here’s a list of songs featured in the program;
Gotta Serve Somebody
Shot of Love
Property of Jesus
Heart of Mine (live)
Every Grain of Sand
Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar