But the Greatest is Hope


Andrew Gardner, a doctoral student in American religious history at Florida State, has a nice piece on the role of faith, hope, and love in the music of Bruce Springsteen, particularly his 2012 album Wrecking Ball.  The piece is published in a relatively new academic journal titled Boss: The Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies.   

Gardner shows how Springsteen’s album draws heavily from the work of Thomas Aquinas, but places more emphasis on the virtues of “hope” than on “love” and “faith.”

Here is the abstract:

Bruce Springsteen’s relationship to his Roman Catholic background is complex and multifaceted. This paper seeks to analyze the artist’s understanding of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love as seen in the album Wrecking Ball (2012). By juxtaposing Springsteen’s understanding of these virtues with Catholicism’s Thomistic tradition, scholars can see how he draws upon this tradition while creating a more robust role for the virtue of hope. This analysis of Springsteen’s engagement in a theological discourse around the virtues of faith, hope, and love offers a fuller understanding of the artist’s commitment to visions of the American Dream.

You can read the entire essay here.

If you like Wrecking Ball, check out some of our posts on the album and the tour.