Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Conservative and liberal theologians, journalists and political activists are raving about “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life,” the remarkable book that profiles the spiritual journey of one of the most dominant figures in American music, art and culture.

Boasting nearly unanimous five-star ratings from readers at Amazon.com, author Scott Marshall’s achievement has the literati and critics abuzz, as the book sheds new light on one of the nation’s most misunderstood artists.

Critics rave:

“Never before has a book like this one delved into the spiritual odyssey of cultural icon Bob Dylan.” – Veracious Magazine.

“Marshall says it’s important to explore Dylan’s viewpoints on Judaism, Christianity and other parts of his spirituality in order to fully understand the impact he’s had.” – Newsmax.

“This will be a good summer for Bob Dylan fans, thanks to Scott M. Marshall’s ‘Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life.’ With extensive interviews and research, the book dives into the rise of Dylan as a cultural icon and examines the way religion played an essential part throughout his career.” – PopSugar.

“Marshall takes the reader through over five decades of Dylan’s professional life.” – Crux

“Well researched yet approachable … a book more than accessible to a secular audience of Dylan fans in addition to those of a more religious persuasion.” – Houston Chronicle

The book ‘Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life’ is definitely something to look forward to. –  Newsgram.

The Hollywood Reporter recently interviewed Marshall on the importance of his book, commenting that while “poetic singer-songwriter Bob Dylan became an icon of the 1960s with songs like ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’ and ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ both of which became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements, his music is as relevant today as it always has been.”

The Reporter said Marshall “argues that to appreciate Dylan’s influence on pop culture you must first understand his views on Judaism, Christianity and all things spiritual – which is no easy task.”

Marshall profiles Dylan not only as a cultural icon but a rebel against a secular society that has turned against God.

“He sure made his mark and then some in the 1960s, and the 1960s left their mark on him, too,” Marshall said. “But over the years he’s gone against the culture that was rebelling against the traditional Judeo-Christian framework. He hasn’t been bashful about saying that he believes in the Old and New Testament.”

The Hollywood Reporter isn’t the only publication fascinated by “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life.” Billboard, the standard publication for the music industry, republished the interview and trumpeted “Bob Dylan’s Spirituality Explored In New Biography.”

“He’s a man of the Good Book, no doubt,” Marshall said of his subject. “Bob Dylan came to be absolutely idolized by some in the 1960s, but he once said that a supernatural artist is one who digs deep, and the deeper he or she goes, the more idols will be found. He’s thumbed his nose at this idol notion that tried to attach itself to him. … He’s a literalist. When he’s sung, with incredible pathos, the old song ‘Little Moses’ or his song ‘In The Garden,’ you know he’s not playing around.”

Serious analysts of American religion also believe the book shows how any Dylan fan, even the most secular, must grapple with the issue of Dylan’s faith. Terry Mattingly, editor of GetReligion.org and senior fellow for media and religion at The King’s College in New York City, wrote in his “On Faith” column:

For millions of true believers, Dylan was a prophetic voice of the 1960s and all that followed. Then his intense embrace of Christianity in the late 1970s infuriated many fans and critics. Ever since, Dylan has been surrounded by arguments — often heated — about the state of his soul. …

Marshall believes one thing should be obvious: If Dylanologists want to understand Dylan’s life and art, they will have to wrestle with all of his songs, including those drenched in God-talk. Biblical literacy is an essential skill in that work.

The bottom line is clear, according to Hollywood director Scott Derrickson, writing in the book’s foreword: “Dylan has never recanted a single line from a single song.”

Mattingly’s column and citations of Marshall and “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life” were carried in hundreds of North American newspapers and websites.

The remarkable spiritual journey of an American icon. You’ll never look at American pop culture or Christianity the same way again. Discover the true story behind one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. “Bob Dylan: The Spiritual Life” is available now at the WND Superstore.

The book is also providing insight for music historians, receiving major coverage in Al.com for revealing how fellow musicians reacted to Dylan’s religious awakening.

“We’re screwed, Dylan’s gone Christian,” one producer put it.

Newsmax chronicled how “Bob Dylan’s spirituality and its impact on pop culture are explored” in the new title.

And the New York Post says Glenn Beck is among those eagerly recommending “A Spiritual Life” for readers of every background.

“Dylan is a fascinating man who has taken a fascinating journey,” Beck told the newspaper.

The book is already changing the public debate surrounding Dylan. Columnist Ann Coulter weighed in on Independence Day, referencing the book to rebut the left-wing magazine Salon’s attempt to draft Dylan as a left-wing icon.

“Dylan is a Christian,” she proclaimed on Twitter, sharing a link to the book’s Amazon page.

The debate over Dylan’s faith is also taking place within the Jewish community. Jerry Singer writes in The Forward, a Jewish newspaper, that Marshall’s book “promises to analyze Dylan’s famously mercurial relationship to religion, which he said involves, ‘plenty of intriguing stories, competing voices, humor [and] conflict.’”

Singer also asks whether Dylan should be considered “one of our own, or not.”

A radio station raised a similar question when it discussed Dylan’s supposed “switch” to Christianity and then back to Judaism. The station 96.3 KKLZ hailed the publication of the book.

The station also noted Marshall talked to sources such as former President Jimmy Carter.”

But as the Catholic magazine Crux puts it, part of Marshall’s thesis is that the Dylan, who emerges from his 1983 Lubavitch studies, and subsequently releases the albumn “Infidels,” is “not a restored Jew who has rejected Christ, but rather, a Hebrew Christian who has a better and deeper sense of his Judaism and the way it shapes his understanding of the biblical narrative and his relationship with God.”

The remarkable spiritual journey of an American icon. You’ll never look at American pop culture or Christianity the same way again. Discover the true story behind one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. “Bob Dylan: The Spiritual Life” is available now at the WND Superstore.

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