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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Leonard Cohen on spirituality and faith

"Cohen's music has repeatedly returned to various themes – his relationships with women, power, politics and intimacy. Yet his most recurrent theme is religious faith.

Cohen is Jewish and has often used biblical imagery as well as references to Jesus throughout his 13 albums. For long periods he has been associated with Buddhism, but recent albums have contained more even more biblical allusions. You Want It Darker is a fascinating rumination on God – containing the Hebrew word "Hineni" which means "Here I am" and is said by Abraham and other Old Testament figures.

Quite apart from his commitment to one faith tradition, Cohen's music has a deep spiritual thread running through it and people of many backgrounds have found it challenging and inspiring." (Andy Walton)

For more on Leonard Cohen, see my co-authored book The Secret Chord; an impassioned study of the role of music in cultural life, written through the prism of Christian belief. Is there really a ‘Secret Chord’ that would both please the LORD and nearly everybody else, as described in Leonard Cohen’s popular song ‘Hallelujah’? And are there some people who just don’t get music, as in the next line in Cohen’s lyric?


Leonard Cohen - Amen.

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