Conversations on Religion and American Life



Eating That Gospel Pie

Eating That Gospel Pie:
Religious Rhetoric in the Songs of John Prine


Dwight A. Moody

From 1970, when he burst upon the Chicago folk music scene, to his untimely COVID-related death in 2020, John Prine established himself as one of the most original and gifted songwriters of his generation. He is often included in a list that names Bob Dylan, Gordan Lightfoot, Kris Kristofferson, and Shel Silverstein, all of whom he counted as friends and collaborators.
A dominant element of Prine’s poetic vocabulary is religion, even though he himself was not a church-going person (at least after childhood).[1] The Christian imagery and story play a compelling role in his work and succeed in connecting his broader message to his …

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