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Dylan Redeemed: From Highway 61 to Saved Paperback – November 15, 2006
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About the Author
Â Dylan did the same for religion when he converted to Christianity in late 1978. Rock and reilgion have become intertwined in contemporay culture. Does rock gain its power from the decline of religious authority? Is rock a neutral medium that churches can appropriate with little or no danger to spiritual truths?Â Do rock and religion have the same ancient roots? Or is rock essentially at odds with Christianity? No contemporary musician presents a better test case than Bob Dylan. He played a key role in the fusion of rock and religion when he converted to Christianity.
Â Dylan was ahead of the contemporary Christian music trend. Although he helped legitimize Christian rock in the late seventies, even his early music had deeply spiritual undertones. From the beginning of his career, Dylan talked about his music in terms of a spiritual calling. He imbued rock with something oracular and otherworldly--a supersonic rendition of the supernatural--which gave popular music enough weight to convey something of the mystery of religious ritual.
Â Webb focuses on Dylan's religious period in this book, but convincingly shows that this religious period cannot be understood apart from a rereading of his entire career. Webb reevaluates Dylan's early career in light of Dylan's Christian period and shows that Dylan's Christian period was a natural development in his musical and spiritual journey.
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I have not read all of this present work, but so far I agree with most of the conclusions he has advanced.
For one thing, he is concerned to rescue Bob Dylan from the clutches of political liberalism, which is a very wise move. Bob Dylan was never comfortable with being called "the voice of a generation" or even a "protest singer."
In his own words, Dylan describes himself as a "musical expeditionary."
Dr. Webb understands that, and is helping us to see this period of Bob Dylan's prolific output in a more accurate light. Bravo, Dr. Webb!!