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Here you go! Have you ever wondered about the Christian faith of Bono and what he and the band actually stand for?  The following article may help to shed some light on just that while also providing a strong example of true faith and insight into what all of us could be doing to help make our world a better place.


Bono's Crusade Comes To DC

By Terry Mattingly

June 6, 2001

Professor Terry Mattingly writes the nationally syndicated "On Religion" column for the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C., and is a senior fellow for journalism at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.



Here you go! As lunch ended in the ornate U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee conference room, Sen. Jesse Helms struggled to stand and bid farewell to the guest of honor.

Bono stayed at the conservative patriarch's right hand, doing what he could to help. For the photographers, it would have been hard to imagine a stranger image than this delicate dance between the aging senator and the rock superstar.

"You know, I love you," Helms said softly.

The singer gave the 79-year-old Helms a hug. This private session with a circle of senators during U2's recent Washington stop wasn't the first time Bono and Helms have discussed poverty, plagues, charity and faith. Nor will it be the last. Blest be the ties that bind.

{ I know, these two couldn't be more different in almost any sense, but Bono was quoted in the "The News & Observer" saying that "It's an extraordinary thing, I will admit, to have Jesse Helms to throw a lunch for you.  You know it's bad for both of our images.  I couldn't disagree more with Senator Helms on some issues.  But I know he's a tough guy on a lot of things, and I don't need softies for friends on the Third World debt issue." }

"What can I say? It's good to be loved -- especially by Jesse Helms," Bono said two days later, as his campaign for Third World debt relief continued on Capitol Hill.

The key to this scene is that Bono can quote the Book of Leviticus as well as the works of John Lennon. While his star power opens doors, it is his sincere, if often unconventional, Christian faith that creates bonds with cultural conservatives -- in the Vatican and inside the Beltway. Bono has shared prayers and his sunglasses with Pope John Paul II. Don't be surprised if he trades boots and Bible verses with President George W. Bush.

The hot issues right now are red ink and AIDS in Africa. An entire continent is "in flames," said Bono, and millions of lives are at stake. God is watching.

The bottom line is that the Bible contains 2,000 verses about justice and compassion. While it's crucial to answer political and economic questions linked to forgiving $200 billion in Third World debts, Bono said this also must be seen as a crisis of faith. The road into the heart of America runs through its sanctuaries.

"What will really wake people up," he said, "is when Sunday schools start making flags and getting out in the streets. ... Forget about the judgment of history. For those of you who are religious people, you have to think about the judgment of God."

Bono knows that this bleak, even melodramatic, message sounds bizarre coming from a rock 'n' roll fat cat. In a recent Harvard University commencement address, he said the only thing worse than an egotistical rock star is a rock star "with a conscience -- a placard-waving, knee-jerking, fellow-traveling activist with a Lexus and a swimming pool shaped like his own head."

This is old news to Bono, who has had a love-hate relationship with stardom for two decades. In U2's early days, other Christians said the band should break up or flee into "Christian rock," arguing that fame always corrupts. Bono and his band mates decided otherwise, but the singer soon began speaking out about his faith and his doubts, his joys and his failures.

"I don't believe in preaching at people," he told me, back in 1982. A constant theme in his music, he added, is the soul-spinning confusion that results when spirituality, sensuality, ego and sin form a potion that is both intoxicating and toxic. "The truth is that we are all sinners. I always include myself in the 'we.' ... I'm not telling everybody that I have the answers. I'm trying to get across the difficulty that I have being what I am."

Eventually, Bono acted out this internal debate on stage. In the 1990s he celebrated and attacked fame through a sleazy, macho, leather-bound alter ego called The Fly. After that came Mister MacPhisto, a devilishly theatrical take on mass-media temptation. The motto for the decade was, "Mock Satan and he will flee thee."

Today, U2 has all but dropped its ironic posturing and the soaring music of this tour covers sin and redemption, heaven and hell, mercy and grace. Bono is quoting from the Psalms and the first Washington concert ended with him shouting: "Praise! Unto the Almighty!"

It wasn't subtle and it wasn't perfect. Crusades rarely are.

"I do believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force," said Bono, paraphrasing the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 11. "God doesn't mind if we bang on the door to heaven sometimes, asking him to listen to what we have to say. ... At least, that's the kind of religion I believe in."







Biography


Here you go! Larry Mullen, Jr., was born on October 31, 1961, in Dublin. He was two years behind Bono in high school but both noticed each other. It was Larry who posted an ad on a bulletin board at school looking for musicians to start a band.

Here you go! Paul Hewson (aka Bono) was born on the 10th of May, 1960, in Dublin. He was a very outgoing person in high school who responded to Larry's note saying that he could play guitar and sing. He really couldn't do either.

Here you go! Adam Clayton was born in Oxfordshire, England, on March 13, 1960, and moved to Dublin after his father got a job flying for Aer Lingus . Although he was not a very good student, he was always very polite to everyone. He was the only bassist to respond to Larry's note.

Here you go! Dave Evans (aka The Edge) was born on August 8, 1961, in East London. His family moved to Dublin a year later. He was often known as a loner early in high school. He took piano and guitar lessons and often played with his brother, Dick. Both showed up to "U2's" first little gathering at Larry's house (60 Rosemount Avenue in Dublin). They set up in the Mullens' kitchen and played the Rolling Stones "Brown Sugar" and "Satisfaction." At this point, the entire group of hopefuls for the band included Larry, Dave and Dick Evans, Adam Clayton, Paul Hewson, Peter Martin, and Ivan McCormick.

Bono, which is a shortened version of Bono Vox, his original nickname, got the name through a group of friends who were known as the Lypton Village. The name, which means "good voice" in Latin, was the name of a hearing aid shop in Dublin.

Some reports say Edge was named by Bono because Dave was always on the fringe of things. Other stories suggest Bono gave him the name because of the sharp lines and angles of his face when he was a teenager.

In Lypton Village they thought it strange that you should go by a name given to you by your parents, when that name might not really suit you. The nicknames were often associated with a facial thing and it would then also apply to the person's character. So The Edge had this prominent jaw line & was always on the edge of things: like an observer. Bono's first Village name was: Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbangbang.

In the band's very early beginnings, circa 1978, Adam Clayton asked Steve Averill (formerly known as Steve Rapid of the band Radiators From Space) to help the band come up with a good name. Averill was interviewed by Hot Press magazine in 2001 and gave this answer when asked about how he helped U2 choose the band's name:

"When I first met them they didn't really know what they wanted to do, what type of band they really wanted to be. But they had qualified for the final of that band competition in Limerick and they needed to decide on a name. Adam liked names like XTC, which were short and crisp and could mean a lot or mean very little. So I made a list of ten and I put U2 on the bottom. I thought it was strong graphically and it had a variety of connotations without meaning something specific. It was short and stood out from the band names common at the time. After we discussed the list we decided to go for U2 for all those reasons."

There have also been many stories told about how the band's name is taken from the U-2 spy plane, and those stories gained favor with the connection of the famous Francis Gary Powers U-2 incident which occurred on May 1, 1960, and the fact that Bono was born just nine days later. These stories seem to be a stretch at best, and Averill's answer above makes no mention of the spy plane connection.

The roots of U2 can be traced to Dublin's Mount Temple High School, where Bono, The Edge, drummer Larry Mullen and bassist Adam Clayton began rehearsing together. What the players lacked in skill was made up for in invention. For instance, the unique chordal style of the Edge came largely from his inability to play complicated leads. U2 quickly gathered a local following in Ireland and found a manager in Paul McGuiness, who has remained with them.

Even with a powerful manager in their corner, the band had trouble making much headway -- they failed an audition with CBS Records at the end of the year. In the fall of 1979, U2 released their debut EP U2:3. The EP was available only in Ireland and it topped the national charts. Shortly afterward, they began to play in England, but they failed to gain much attention. U2 had one other chart-topping single, "Another Day," in early 1980 before Island Records offered the group a contract.

Here you go! The group signed with Island Records in 1980. As the group ventured into the 80's, they renounced the electronic gimmicks that were considered "standard issue" in music, opting for a more honest, open approach. Later that year, the band's debut, Boy, was released. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the record's sweeping, atmospheric but edgy sound was unlike most of its post-punk contemporaries, and the band earned further attention for its public embrace of Christianity; only Clayton was not a practicing Christian. U2's first albums, "Boy" and "October," combined religious imagery with youthful explorations in hope to create such songs as "I Will Follow" and "Gloria." Videos for both singles were heavily played on a young MTV which helped to propel the band into the limelight of pop music.

Through a combination of zealous righteousness and post-punk experimentalism, U2 became one of the most popular rock & roll bands of the '80s. Equally known for their sweeping sound as for their grandiose statements about politics and religion, U2 were rock & roll crusaders during an era of synthesized pop and heavy metal. The Edge provided the group with a signature sound by creating sweeping sonic landscapes with his heavily processed, echoed guitars. Though the Edge's style wasn't conventional, the rhythm section of Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. played the songs as driving hard-rock, giving the band a forceful, powerful edge that was designed for arena rock. And their lead singer, Bono, was a frontman who had a knack of grand gestures that played better in arenas than small clubs. It's no accident that footage of Bono parading with a white flag with "Sunday Bloody Sunday" blaring in the background became the defining moment of U2's early career -- there rarely was a band that believed so deeply in rock's potential for revolution as U2, and there rarely was a band that didn't care if they appeared foolish in the process.

During the course of the early '80s, the group quickly built up a dedicated following through constant touring and a string of acclaimed records. By 1987, the band's following had grown large enough to propel them to the level of international superstars with the release of The Joshua Tree. Unlike many of their contemporaries, U2 was able to sustain their popularity in the '90s by reinventing themselves as a post-modern, self-consciously ironic dance-inflected pop-rock act, owing equally to the experimentalism of late '70s Bowie and '90s electronic dance and techno. By performing such a successful reinvention, the band confirmed its status as one of the most popular bands in rock history, in addition to earning additional critical respect. With its textured guitars, U2's sound was undeniably indebted to post-punk, so it's slightly ironic that the band formed in 1976, before punk had reached their hometown of Dublin, Ireland.

Through constant touring, including opening gigs for Talking Heads and wet T-shirt contests, U2 was able to take Boy into the American Top 70 in early 1981. October, also produced by Lillywhite, followed in the fall, and it became their British breakthrough, reaching number 11 on the charts. By early 1983, Boy's "I Will Follow" and October's "Gloria" had become staples on MTV, which, along with their touring, gave the group a formidable cult following in the US.

Released in the spring of 1983, the Lillywhite-produced War was U2's breakthrough release, entering the UK charts at number one and elevating them into arenas in the United States, where the album peaked at number 12. War had a stronger political message than its predecessors, as evidenced by the UK, college radio, and MTV hits "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day." During the supporting tour, the band filmed their concert at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater, releasing the show as an EP and video title Under A Blood Red Sky. The EP entered in the UK charts at number two, becoming the most successful live recording in British history.

U2 had become one of the most popular bands in the world, and their righteous political stance soon became replicated by many other bands, providing the impetus for the Band Aid and Live Aid projects in 1984 and 1985, respectively. For the followup to War, U2 entered the studios with co-producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who helped give the resulting album an experimental, atmospheric tone. Released in the fall of 1984, The Unforgettable Fire replicated the chart status of War, entering the UK charts at number one and reaching number 12 in the US the album also generated the group's first Top 40 hit in America with the Martin Luther King Jr. tribute "(Pride) In the Name of Love." U2 supported the album with a successful international tour, highlighted by a show-stealing performance at Live Aid. Following the tour, the band released the live EP, Wide Awake in America in 1985.

While U2 had become one of the most successful rock bands of the '80s, they didn't truly become superstars until the spring 1987 release of The Joshua Tree. Greeted with enthusiastic reviews, many of which proclaimed the album a masterpiece, The Joshua Tree became the band's first American number one hit and its third straight album to enter the UK charts at number one; in England, it set a record by going platinum within 28 hours. Generating the US number one hits "With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," The Joshua Tree and the group's supporting tour became the biggest success of 1987, earning the group the cover of respected publications like Time magazine.

U2 decided to film a documentary about their American tour, recording new material along the way. The project became Rattle & Hum, a film that was supported by a double-album soundtrack that was divided between live tracks and new material. While the album Rattle & Hum was a hit, the record and film received the weakest reviews of U2's career, with many critics taking issue with the group's fascination with American roots music like blues, soul, country and folk. Following the release of Rattle & Hum, the band took an extended hiatus.

U2 reconvened in Berlin 1990 to record a new album with Eno and Lanois. While the sessions for the album were difficult, the resulting record, Achtung Baby, represented a successful reinvention of the band's trademark sound. Where they had been inspired by post-punk in the early career and American music during their mid-career, U2 delved into electronic and dance music with Achtung Baby. Inspired equally by late '70s Bowie and the Madchester scene in the UK, Achtung Baby was sonically more eclectic and adventurous than U2's earlier work, and it didn't alienate their core audience. The album debuted at number one throughout the world and spawned Top 10 hits with "Mysterious Ways" and "One."

Early in 1992, the group launched an elaborate tour to support Achtung Baby. Dubbed Zoo TV, the tour was an innovative blend of multi-media electronics, featuring a stage filled with televisions, suspended cars and cellular phone calls. Bono devised an alter-ego called the Fly, which was a knowing send-up of rock stardom. Even under the ironic guise of the Fly and Zoo TV, it was evident that U2 was looser and more fun than ever before, even though they had not abandoned their trademark righteous political anger. Following the completion of the American Zoo TV tour in late and before the launch of the European leg of tour, U2 entered the studio to complete an EP of new material that became the full-length Zooropa.

Released in the summer of 1993 to coincide with the tour of the same name, Zooropa demonstrated a heavier techno and dance influence than Achtung Baby and it received strong reviews. Nevertheless, the album stalled at sales of two million and failed to generate a big hit single. During the Zooropa tour, the Fly metamorphosed into the demonic MacPhisto, which dominated the remainder of the tour. Upon the completion of the Zooropa tour in late 1993, the band took an extended break.

During 1995, U2 re-emerged with "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me," a glam-rock theme to Batman Forever that was produced by Nellee Hooper (Bjork, Soul II Soul). Later that year, they recorded the collaborative album Original Soundtracks, Vol. 1 with Brian Eno, releasing the album under the name the Passengers late in 1995. It was greeted with a muted reception, both critically and commercially. Many hardcore U2 fans, including drummer Larry Mullen Jr., were unhappy with the Passengers project, and U2 promised their next album, to be released in the fall of 1996, would be a rock & roll record. The album took longer to complete than usual, being pushed back to the spring of 1997. During its delay, a few tracks, including the forthcoming first single "Discotheque," were leaked, and it became clear that the new album was going to be heavily influenced by techno, dance and electronic music. When it was finally released, Pop did indeed bear a heavier dance influence, but it was greeted with strong initial sales, as well as some of the strongest reviews of U2's career.

In late 1998, the group returned with Best of 1980-1990, the first in a series of hits collections issued in conjunction with a reported $50 million agreement with Polygram. Three years after the mediocre response to Pop, U2 teamed up with Eno and Lanois once again to release All That You Can't Leave Behind in fall 2000.



Clear Examples Of What This Band Is All About:

Here you go! The music of U2 has always been about heart and mind, body and soul. Down the years the band have succesfully thrown a spotlight on the work of key campaigning groups who are trying to make the world a better place.

From Amnesty International and Greenpeace through to DATA and the Chernobyl Childrens Project, U2 have used benefit concerts, songwriting, public campaigning, special visits and fund-raising projects to promote a range of charities and activist communities worldwide.

Bono and Scarlett Johansson are to launch a worldwide anti-poverty campaign at new year parties in London and Edinburgh. The lead singer of U2 and the Hollywood actress will appear in a three-minute video to be screened at festivities in Trafalgar Square and Princes Street, Edinburgh, shortly after midnight.

The Make Poverty History campaign, the brainchild of Richard Curtis, the screenwriter, and Sir Bob Geldof, the Band Aid impresario, has the backing of hundreds of charities, trade unions and campaign groups.

They are already expecting to raise £20m (€30m) for famine relief in Africa through sales of the re-released Band Aid single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in Britain with a further £6m (€9m) donated by Tom Hunter, the Scottish businessman. The aim of the campaign is to encourage the leaders of developed countries to increase aid and trade and to cancel Third World debt.

A series of events is planned next year, culminating in a 100,000-strong demonstration in Edinburgh in July before the G8 summit at Gleneagles.

The video, which will immediately follow "Auld Lang Syne" in the two cities, will feature a montage of world leaders making promises about ending global poverty and images of children picking over a waste site in the Philippines.

It will highlight the fact that every day 30,000 children die from starvation and malnutrition. Bono will say: "We're the first generation that can end extreme poverty. By that I mean the kind of stupid poverty that allows a child to die of hunger in a world of plenty."

Johansson, the actress who starred in Lost in Translation, will say: "To make it the most powerful movement the world has ever known, we need all citizens around the world to stand up and be counted."

Angela O'Hagan, a spokeswoman for the campaign, said: "2005 is the year when the most powerful politicians in the world will come to Scotland and when we will be calling on them to take the necessary action to make poverty history. That's why it's very appropriate that only minutes into the new year, revellers in Edinburgh and London will see this film about the campaign."

The band has sold more than 120 million records worldwide in an extraordinary career that has firmly established them as one of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands. Along the way, U2 has earned a phenomenal 14 Grammy Awards, seven of which were for their last studio album, 2000’s "All That You Can’t Leave Behind," including two consecutive awards for "Record of the Year." As popular for their legendary live shows as for their groundbreaking albums, U2 innovates and inspires while packing football stadiums and sweaty clubs around the world. What is next for the group that continues to reinvent themselves and push the boundaries of music?








Here you go!
March 20, 2005

Great News: Bruce Springsteen inducted U2 into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame this week as he delivered a spellbinding, generous and well-deserved tribute... congratulations from the AAA!



Here you go!
August 10, 2005

Irish Rockers U2 To Get Portuguese Award

Tue Aug 9, 2:36 PM ET


LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal said on Tuesday it would award Irish rockers U2 the country's Order of Liberty to honor the band's humanitarian efforts.   President Jorge Sampaio will award the Dublin four -- lead singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. -- before a concert in Lisbon on Sunday.

"Over the last 25 years the band has allied its public exposure gained through musical success with the defense of humanitarian causes and human rights," a presidential spokeswoman said.

Bono was a major figure in the Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine relief 20 years ago and has since campaigned for the world's poor. U2 were also involved in last month's Live 8 concert held to pressure rich nations to allieviate poverty.








Here you go!

Adam Clayton
Born: March 13, 1960
Oxfordshire, England



Here you go!

The Edge
David Evans
Born: August 8, 1961
East London, England



Here you go!

Bono
Paul David Hewson
Born: May 10, 1960
Dublin, Ireland



Here you go!

Larry Mullen Jr.
Born: October 31, 1961
Dublin, Ireland






Here you go!





Caitlin Fischer
A Journey of Faith



from the author:
As a fan of the group U2, the things that I love the most are (lead singer) Bono's lyrics; they are very insightful, and I love trying to decipher their meanings. Over the years, I've noticed God and religious beliefs appearing in a number of songs. I noticed that the images and ideas about God in the earlier songs were different from those on later albums. I decided to examine this relationship and representation to see what it reflected about Bono.
from the teacher, Vivian Rice:

This assignment required the students to consider the power of language: how it positions us, how it defines us, and how it limits us. They were to write a researched essay, using a perspective that would take up their subject from a "new" direction. Caitlin chose to write about the band U2, describing, through the lens of two theorists, how changes in the lyrics reveal changes in Bono's faith, his growth, his struggles, and the ways he identifies himself with respect to his faith.
from the editor:
In taking us through the journey of a celebrity's spiritual exploration, there is no doubt or confusion in Caitlin Fischer's insightful analysis. Fischer captures the personal struggle and evolution of faith through a comprehensive knowledge and spiritual interpretation of U2 song lyrics. The believer's stages of dependency, confusion, and resolution coincide with each consecutive album as spirituality matures.




While most celebrities keep their religious beliefs private, the music of the Irish rock group U2, with lyrics written by lead singer Bono, contains many religious references and ideas. A closer analysis of the song lyrics shows an evolution of the religious ideas contained within. The changing and development of these ideas corresponds to many psychological and sociological theories of faith evolution, including those of Alfred Adler and James Fowler. Adlerian theory posits that "Our ideas about God are important indicators of how we view the world. According to Adler these ideas have changed over time, as our vision of the world—and our place in it—has changed" (Nielson). There are two kinds of changes that may occur: those that advance the faith, and those that incite doubt or stagnation, as reported by Paul Fritz. Fritz, a minister, incorporated the ideas of sociologist Jean Merton into his theory of faith evolution. Fowler, in Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, states that faith evolves as individuals move through life, changing at each stage the way they make sense of existence. Commenting on Fowler's theory, John Testerman writes, "The stages of faith can be thought of as the different lenses through which we view the world as we journey through life." A careful study of Bono's lyrics can show what kind of "spiritual glasses" he wears at that stage of his life, and how his outlook on the world shapes the portrayal of his beliefs.

While the evolution of faith and spiritual beliefs may be divided into stages, a person may be in between stages at any time, exhibiting the characteristics of more than one stage. In Fritz's model, a believer may pass between stages of "faith," or advancement, and "frustration," or setback interchangeably. Also, since development is very complex, some stages may be revisited and every stage may not be experienced. The numbering systems used only represent the most simplified path toward enlightenment, the ultimate result of the journey.

In the first stage of faith, as presented by Paul Fritz, the believer relies on God for guidance and protection. "Just as a child learns to implicitly trust its mother, so a young Christian relies on the Lord for its spiritual leading" (Fritz). In the song "I Will Follow" from the first recording by the group, the refrain repeats, "If you walk away, I will follow"(U2, War). Reliance on God also can be seen in the song "Gloria" from the second album, which states "Only in [the Lord] I'm complete" and "Oh Lord if I had anything, anything at all I'd give it to you"(U2, October). The writer reveals a childlike relationship with God; this relationship is a close one in which he is the dependent.

The blind obedience of stage one evolves into a confidence in "the certainty of God's grace, counsel, and enabling"(Fritz). The believer is convinced that he will be saved and protected by God, guided in times of trouble, and supported along his journey through life. This translates into a firm belief in salvation and protection, evident in the song "Tomorrow" from U2's second album: "He's coming back, I believe Him. Jesus coming. I'm gonna be there. I'm gonna die"( U2, October). Bono recognizes his mortality, but asserts that Jesus will return, and he will be saved ("I'm gonna be there"). Closely akin to this deeply rooted belief is the acknowledgement of personal value in God's eyes. In stage three of faith, the believer becomes innovative, coming up with new ideas about the world and his place in it. The lyrics, "I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me," from another song from the second album exemplify this acceptance of the individual's place in the world and role in the "big picture."

While one song from the first album is evidence of the first stage, another represents the second, and yet another the third. The representation of more than one stage on one album shows how evolution is a gradual process occurring over time. Another fact that should be noted is that not every album by the group contains lyrics that apply to faith development. This does not necessarily mean evolution was not occurring, but rather that it was not the center of Bono's writings at the time.

Along with stages in which the believer develops a closer awareness of God and faith, there are stages where setbacks are suffered, doubts arise, or focus falters. One of these stages, defined as Inferiority, occurs when a person "experiences feelings of shame, emptiness, or futility" Fritz). In "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", from U2's fifth album, the writer lists the places he has searched, but comments that no matter where he has looked, he has not found what he sought. The song addresses Jesus directly, saying, "I believe in the Kingdom come…You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains, Carried my cross and all my shame…But I still haven't found what I'm looking for"(U2, The Joshua Tree). This need for deeper fulfillment and futile search corresponds to a setback in the cycle of faith.

The setback of Inferiority is followed by Confusion. Rather than getting back onto the path towards a better faith, another setback occurs. The frustration of the first setback grows, causing confusion and a distorted perspective. In the song "Until the End of the World," Bono affects the persona of a Judas-like character. The song talks about the Last Supper and Jesus's passion in the garden and focuses on Judas's role in the betrayal. Bono writes about this betrayal of love and trust, saying, "I took the money. . .. I kissed your lips and broke your heart," and later reveals that the betrayal haunts him, although he knows he will be saved at the end of the world: "In my dreams I was drowning my sorrow. . . Surrounding me . . . Spilling over the brim . . . I reached out for the one I tried to destroy. You, you said you'd wait ‘Til the end of the world" (U2, Achtung Baby). These lyrics illustrate a "Failure to integrate his. . . faith into reality" that leads into "further confusion," according to Fritz.

While these setbacks seem irreversible, Bono, in his lyrics, does recover and progresses forward again. In another song from the sixth album, "Mysterious Ways," he sings, "If you want to kiss the sky [heaven], You'd better learn how to kneel . . .. She [the Holy Spirit] moves in mysterious ways, God moves with it, we move through miracle days"(U2, Achtung Baby). This rebirth of faith is common, and referred to as the "Numinous Universe" stage, according to James Fowler. In this stage, "seeing once more through the lens of the imagination and intuition, we again come to live in a numinous universe of mystery, wonder, and paradox" (Testerman). After searching for so long, Bono appears to have found that God is not a cut and dry set subject, but one with many facets that perpetually change.

Although faith and progress appear to be fully restored at the time of "Mysterious Ways," Bono once more lapses in faith on the group's seventh album, into a stage called "Cool Estrangement." Using the metaphor of God as father, he writes:

My father is a rich man, He wears a rich man's cloak. Gave me the keys to his kingdom coming, gave me a cup of gold. He said "I have many mansions, And there are many rooms to see," But I left by the back door And I threw away the key (U2, Zooropa).

Bono's words show a turning away from God and his promises, a common occurrence in this stage. People at this stage of faith tend to experience "an increasing sense of loneliness and feelings of alienation." The loneliness can progress into another stage of setback, or can be resolved. Bono's loneliness continues, as he again suffers a setback—that of suspicion. In "Wake Up, Dead Man" from the group's eighth album, Bono questions God's motives and presence, revealing his feeling of abandonment. He sings "Jesus, help me, I'm alone in this world . . .. I know you're looking out for us, But maybe your hands aren't free"(U2, POP). Later he sings "Looking for to save my soul, Looking for to fill that God-shaped hole"(U2, POP). The solitude expressed on the eighth album shows that doubt has been incited about God's presence in his life. Bono's words fit the stage of Suspicion, where an individual doubts that God cares about his wellbeing (Fritz).

This descent into doubt, loneliness and inferiority is gloriously resolved on the group's ninth album. In the song "Kite," Bono acknowledges his mortality and quotes the Christian idea that "You know neither the day nor the hour when God shall be at hand" (Matthew 25:13). He also states that he knows death is not the end. He writes, "I'm not afraid to die . . . And when I'm flat on my back, I hope to feel like I did . . .. Who's to know when the time has come around? I know that this is not good-bye" ("All That You Can't Leave Behind"). In another song, "Grace," Bono talks about the gift of God's grace and its power to change things for the better. "Grace, she takes the blame, covers the shame, removes the stain…What once was hurt, what once was friction, what left a mark no longer stings because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things" ("All That You Can't Leave Behind"). Bono's celebration of the joys of grace leads one to wonder whether grace is responsible for his spiritual renewal: whether he was hurt, shameful and stained, but made beautiful once more through his faith. The lyrics to this song lead to the conclusion that Bono has reached the stage of faith where a person feels that God is in everything and everything is a part of God, or "Unity All-pervasive God" (Testerman).

Despite several setbacks in the forward progression of his faith, Bono's lyrics throughout the timeline of albums show a journey that takes him to the highest level of faith. It is interesting to note that spiritual crises begin when fame begins, with the group's fifth album. Throughout the period of successes, Bono's lyrics are about doubt in faith and searching for God. This leads to the belief that for Bono, with fame has come a new concept of the world around him and a struggle to re-define his faith and himself within new social constraints. After taking three years off from touring and recording, Bono's idea of the world seems to have stabilized. His lyrics show a man who is at peace with the world and his place in it. The lyrics he writes reveal how his inner feelings about his faith and his relationship with God constantly mutate as they follow the path towards enlightenment.



Works Cited

Cambridge Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Fowler, James W. Stages of Faith: the Psychology of Human Development and the Quest

for Meaning. Harper: San Francisco, 1995.

Fritz, Paul. Home page. 10 Mar, 2002. "8 Stages of Faith."

<http://www.sermonillustrator.org/minisermons/>

Nielsen, Michael. Home page. 3 Nov. 2003. Psychology of Religion Pages.

<http://www.psywww.com/>

"The Stages of Faith." The Journal of Religion and Society. Home page. 1 Nov. 2002.

Testerman, John. Home page. Mar. 1995. The Stages of Faith.

<http://www.atoday.com/magazine/archive/>

U2. Achtung, Baby. Island, 1991.

U2. All That You Can't Leave Behind. Island, 2000.

U2. The Joshua Tree. Island, 1987.

U2. October. Island, 1982.

U2. POP. Island, 1997.

U2. War. Island, 1980.

 









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Boy
1980
Island Records



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October
1981
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War
1983
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Under a Blood Red Sky
1983
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The Unforgettable Fire
1984
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Wide Awake in America [EP]
1985
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The Joshua Tree
1987
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Rattle and Hum
1988
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Achtung Baby
1991
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Zooropa
1993
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Melon
1995
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Original Soundtracks No. 1
1995
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Pop
1997
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The Best of 1980 - 1990 & B-Sides
1998
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The Best of 1980 - 1990
1998
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Hasta La Vista Baby!
2000
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All That You Can't Leave Behind
2000
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The Best of 1990 - 2000 & B Sides
2002
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2002
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How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
2004
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