Explore the impact of RELIGION on Prince's Music

Theology of Prince Gallery

In Fall 2017 and Winter 2018, United Theological Seminary put out a call for submissions on the "Theology of Prince."  We asked for visual art, personal essays, videos, poetry, and academic papers responding to theological, spiritual, and religious themes in Prince's work, with a winner for each category. 

United Seminary has always recognized the vital role the arts play in life, religion and spirituality and it has always had a strong commitment to infuse the arts in its educational endeavor. At United, the arts are experiential, we learn by doing. They are vibrant, spilling out of the studio into the classroom and into the world. Students understand how the arts are a conduit for the holy. Who here has not had a ‘holy’ moment listening to one of Prince’s songs? 

Some of Prince’s music uses explicitly religious language. But spiritually implicit language weaves through his writing. Purple rain might be considered a metaphor for grace, or forgiveness. Sacred expressions are found over and over again in his lyrics and in the power of his brilliant music. 

Last July Dr. Pamela Ayo Yetunde joined our faculty. In a conversation she was asked, “What makes United unique?” She said, “We are the seminary where students get to study Prince.” And this project was born.

The idea was extraordinary for a multitude of reasons. United is an ecumenical and progressive seminary where students are encouraged to question dogma and engage in candid conversations about spirituality, social justice, chaplaincy, life and death, conversations about gender identity and human sexuality and support for the full inclusion of our LGBTQI siblings. All these conversations have crossover points, intersections, with what we know about Prince, his music and his life.

This gallery comprises the poetry and visual art submissions on the Theology of Prince. There is also an electronic journal containing all of the submitted academic papers and personal essays. Check it out!


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