Lennon and Jesus: Secularization and the Transformation of Religion

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Abstract

John Lennon’s religious discourse, as manifested in his many interviews and song lyrics, is characterized by two conflicting elements: A strong interest in Jesus as a moral figure, and criticism of the Christian establishment. Lennon’s message of love and peace was inspired by certain Christian ideas that he attributed to Jesus, as well as by his recognition of the declining relevance of established religion in society. Lennon also made close connections between the Beatles and religion. His ideas on religion therefore demonstrate both individualistic religious sensibilities and motivations that run counter to the religious establishment, and even, in a sense, aim to replace it. Lennon’s attitudes toward religion are examined here in light of trends toward secularization in the 1960s; studies of religious experimentalism; and the non-conventional religious typology of humanism as a quasi-religion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-563
Number of pages30
JournalStudies in Religion-Sciences Religieuses
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Beatles
  • Beatles
  • Christ
  • John Lennon
  • John Lennon
  • Le Christ
  • expérience religieuse
  • humanism
  • humanisme
  • religious experience
  • secularization
  • sécularisation

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