Punk Rock and the Protestant Reformation?
Sometimes the strangest connections can bring a whole new perspective.
For example, what could the history of Punk Rock music bring to our understanding of the Protestant Reformation?
You might be thinking that loud, obnoxious punk rock music is a strange topic for church; it seems like something that would be the opposite of Christian faith and tradition. But consider… there are also radical ideas and much disruption throughout the history of religion—ancient Judaism confronted by Jesus in the 1st century AD, and the 1000-year Roman Catholic Church rebelled against by Martin Luther and the reformers who changed Christianity forever in the 16th century.
We will compare and contrast Martin Luther’s actions and writings with the music and counterculture of the punks in a series titled “Righteous Outrage in Word, Sound, and Image: Punk Rock and Martin Luther.” We will listen to a lot of classic punk rock songs and examine some of Martin Luther’s writings and woodcut images, in order to explore notions of rebellion and confrontation in each—in their words, ideas, music, etc. Perhaps we will decide that cacophony and rejecting the status quo can be part and parcel of spiritual/cultural growth and renewal.
Is punk rock in the 1970s and 1980s like the Reformation in the 16th Century? Is Johnny Rotten’s call for “Anarchy in the UK” like Martin Luther calling the Pope the Antichrist?
I’m a member of Covenant, and I’m passionate about music, Medieval German languages and history, as well as my Christian faith.
Please join the three weeks of fun in Agora (Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m.) on October 30, November 6 and 13.
David Connolly has been an active member of Covenant for over 25 years. He studied chemistry and is employed at Chemical Abstracts Service. He is also interested in foreign languages and literature and did a Ph. D. in German at Ohio State. David’s wide range of interests also include kayaking, fishing, teaching, and music of all types and forms.
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