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In Search of Soul

Hip-Hop, Literature, and Religion

Alejandro Nava


List Price: 85.00*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/12/2017)


In Search of Soul explores the meaning of “soul” in sacred and profane incarnations, from its biblical origins to its central place in the rich traditions of black and Latin history. Surveying the work of writers, artists, poets, musicians, philosophers and theologians, Alejandro Nava shows how their understandings of the “soul” revolve around narratives of justice, liberation, and spiritual redemption.  He contends that biblical traditions and hip-hop emerged out of experiences of dispossession and oppression. Whether born in the ghettos of America or of the Roman Empire, hip-hop and Christianity have endured by giving voice to the persecuted. This book offers a view of soul in living color, as a breathing, suffering, dreaming thing.

Praise For In Search of Soul: Hip-Hop, Literature, and Religion

"Nava has produced an interpretive angle on the study of hip-hop not seen before. It provides a perspective that challenges the notion that hip-hop music has never been religious."

— America

"This is a thoroughly insightful and informative volume on the meaning of “soul” through the lens of literary analysis, music, and religion."

— Horizons in Biblical Theology

University of California Press, 9780520293533, 296pp.

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

About the Author

Alejandro Nava is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Arizona and author of Wonder and Exile in the New World and The Mystical and Prophetic Thought of Simone Weil and Gustavo Gutierrez.