Agnostic, Christian, Jewish: Iconic songwriter Bob Dylan has been called all of these, but the question doesn’t have a clear answer.
Bob Dylan fans have always been confused about the singer and iconic songwriter’s religious affiliation. Although he was born Jewish, Dylan later openly converted to Christianity. During this time, a number of his songs were colored with Christian themes and people knew for a fact the Dylan was then a Christian. However, the Christian themes faded from his songs eventually, leaving his wondering if Dylan had left Christianity.
Even later, it was found that Dylan continued to practice some of his Jewish customs, once again giving rise to speculations as to his religious beliefs. However, the doubts are now cleared with Dylan's Messianic Jewish friend and spiritual guide, Al Kasha, 75, saying that Dylan never lost his faith in Christ.
Bob Dylan's Spotify streams have increased by 512% since his Nobel Prize win https://t.co/Kd9VQaztp0
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Dylan accepted Christianity after Kasha introduced him to Christ. Kasha is himself a famous songwriter, having won the Oscar award twice for his compositions. In 1978, he was reported to have prayed with Dylan in his apartment, shortly before his conversion. Dylan signed up for a discipleship course with the Calvary Chapel of Southern California. Ever since then, Dylan has been open about his Christian faith. He even composed Christian albums such as Saved, Shot of Love and Slow Train Coming, in addition to recording a Christmas album in 2009.
Former President Jimmy Carter’s friendship with Dylan blossomed as he was entrenched in Christianity, with Carter stating "Bob Dylan and I have been very close friends since I was governor. I first met him when he was going through an era of deep Christian faith."
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Gradually, fans noticed Dylan was returning back to the secular themes he used to work with before. Prior to this, there was a phase where his songs were less Christian or Evangelical and more spiritual, almost mystical. When Christian themes began fading from his songs, people thought that he had renounced his faith altogether.
Kasha says he has known Dylan very closely since 1960. The two used to work together at Columbia in their youth. Kasha remembers a particular time when the company was to fire Dylan when his first CD sold poorly. However, Kasha, who knew Dylan's true potential, stood up for him and made sure the company kept him. The journey that began that day for Dylan has now reached a point where he has been awarded the Nobel Prize For Literature.
Kasha points out that Dylan's faith is highlighted in his 2012 album Tempest. Despite this, people are still confused at the mixed signals they receive from Dylan's religious practices. Although he openly declared that he does not believe in organized religions, he is known to observe core Jewish practices even now.
— Christy Bella (@christybella) October 14, 2016