Secular Music in Seven Lessons
Darkwave artist Cold Cave's recent album, "Fate in Seven Lessons," sheds light on the complexities of popular culture's interaction with religion
June 24, 2021
Justice and the Devil in America
A controversy around the symbolisms of evil conceals the hardening of America's heart
April 26, 2021
Symphonic Politics, Sibelius, and the Immanent Messiah
Our country cannot afford to wait for a miracle. The music of Jean Sibelius teaches us what the alternatives might look like.
January 11, 2021
A Professor of Religion in a Time of Pop Power
An academic reflects on her analysis of a boy band, their fans' reactions to it, and the hazards of professional expertise
November 9, 2020
Kanye’s Easter Sunday Service at Coachella
April 29, 2019
Springsteen’s Promised Land (It’s Not What You Think)
Bruce Springsteen, a self-professed “lapsed” Roman Catholic whose spirituality draws heavily upon his upbringing, has crafted a career-long message: we, as individuals and as a nation, can transcend trauma. Netflix gave us an enormous gift recent...
March 28, 2019
Sing, Choirs of... Atheists?
Since Sightings sights theisms, it must also pay attention to alternatives to them in our pluralistic culture. These include non-, a-, anti-, counter-, para-, et cetera. One thing we’ve never written about is “sung” atheism. That changes today, becau...
June 4, 2018
“It Is Music That Lifts Us Up from the Earth at the Very Moment of Death”: On the Transcendence of the Popular
Editor's Note: This essay is the final installment in our six-part series on religion and popular music. The previous issues were "The Broken Grace of Leonard Cohen" by Paul DeCamp (April 13); "Being Hip-Hop, Being Job, and Being" by Julian DeShazier...
September 14, 2017
Finding Evidence: Bruce Springsteen's Procession from Religion to Faith
Editor's Note: This is the fifth issue in our continuing series of essays on religion and popular music. For the previous installments, see "The Broken Grace of Leonard Cohen" by Paul DeCamp; "Being Hip-Hop, Being Job, and Being" by Julian "J.Kwest" ...
July 20, 2017
Rev. Dr. William Barber and the Sound of Transcendence
In his address to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, then president of the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays Movement, proclaimed, “like our forefathers and foremothers, we...