Saturday, November 11, 2006

U2: "Where the Streets Have No Name"

Our Saturday video of the week is by the rock band U2, something of a favorite among seminary professors:

For the lyrics to "Where the Streets Have No Name," click here. I'll make a few reflections, and then welcome any others who wish to do so to contribute in the comments. The place with "streets with no name" is a multi-layered symbol. It is a place most highly desired (the ideal Jerusalem) but also a place where currently "the city's aflood and our love turns to rust." On the one hand, the "flame" there pulls and draws us in. On the other hand, the city is an Ethiopian refugee camp with crisscrossing makeshft roads or it is Belfast, where street upon street is tainted with bloodsheed. (These are two "cities" Bono must clearly have in mind, given his personal experience.) In the Jerusalem of the future, the streets are paved with gold and bear no names because no divisions of wealth, pride, and fear separate and alienate its inhabitants. People there will be willing to "reach out" to each other in vulnerability and mutuality. "When I go there, I go there with you," because friendship and community are what the new Jerusalem are all about. The "flame" there grows stronger and hotter as its inhabitants reach out and embrace and lose themselves in each other's unconditional love (Song of Songs 8:6).



Blogger Peter Carey said...


Nothing profound just yet...

Do you want to feel old, consider the fact that some of your students were in diapers when this song came out...

They call this U2 stuff "classic rock"!

I'm sure you've seen this book, but if you haven't, you should check it out..."Get up off your knees: Preaching the U2 Canon" -


Sat Nov 11, 11:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Thanks, Peter (for the book referral, not the ref. to my advancing age...). I'd be interested in reports of how use of the book has worked and been received in actual preaching. Have you ever considered drawing on it in your own homilies? ---S.

Sun Nov 12, 07:15:00 AM GMT-5  

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