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The Gospel According to the Beatles

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  99 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Renowned British music journalist and author Steve Turner surveys the religious and spiritual influence of the Beatles, the band that changed the history of music forever. With new interviews, never-before-published material, and fresh insights, Turner helps the reader understand the religious and spiritual ideas and ideals that influenced the music and lives of the Beatle ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published August 3rd 2006 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published August 1st 2006)
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Christian
Mar 12, 2010 Christian rated it it was ok
TL, DR: Turner should've simply written a book about George's spiritual journey.

...

I'm not really sure what purpose the author was aiming for here.

First off, I want to point out the base foolishness of making it about all the Beatles. Ringo barely exists in the book (which, of course, may have been Ringo's fault. But considering how sick he was as a child -- never mentioned in the book -- you have to think he had some deeper thoughts about what I would consider the "religious dimension" of life)
...more
Mark
Jun 30, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, history
I liked this one. It goes into the Beatles' personal changes about god, religion consciousness, drugs, all of that. More so, it does so by recording changes in the mass culture as the Beatles themselves affected it, and by way of telling his own personal changes in that regard as well, Mr. Turner catches a lot of what those socio-cultural changes were. References in their music and songs are generous and well-aligned. The book in fact, isn't stupid, which you might take it to be if you only saw ...more
kylajaclyn
May 20, 2015 kylajaclyn rated it liked it
This book focuses on the more interesting events of the Beatles career through a spiritual lens. Turner starts with the "Bigger than Jesus" controversy and ends with the Maharishi event, and afterwards he chronicles the Beatles religious pursuits after the breakup. Unsurprisingly, the Manson murders also take up several pages, but in this case Turner focuses on how the Beatles were disciples to Manson. This book is heavy on George and John, less so on Ringo and Paul. It's a bit frustrating, but ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Steve Turnerin "Beatles ja usko rakkauteen" (Kirjapaja, 2008) käsittelee mielenkiintoisesti uskonnon ja hengellisyyden merkitystä the Beatlesin tuotannossa ja uralla, tarkoitettiinpa sillä sitten John Lennonin "Suurempia kuin Jeesus" -lausunnon käsittelyä mediassa, LSD:n avulla tapahtuvaa korkeamman hengellisyyden tavoittelua tai George Harrisonin suhdetta Krishna-liikkeeseen.

The Beatlesista on kirjoitettu tuhansia ja tuhansia sivuja, eikä yhtyeen historiassa ole kovinkaan montaa vaihetta, jota
...more
Keir
Sep 14, 2012 Keir rated it really liked it
For those looking for a quick review and an inclination as to whether this is a worthy read, I recommend any Beatles fan or avid popular music fan to fit this biography into their "top ten" must reads.

Whether you're a Beatles lover and need to satiate an ongoing desire for all that is Beatles trivia, a serious student of popular culture, or one with earnest interest in the spiritual and theological thought and influence of culture icons, this is a book that may disturb but will not disappoint.

St
...more
Jack
Feb 26, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Beatle Fans
The link between the Beatles spiritual journey and how it influenced each of them is analyzed by Steve Turner in great detail. As a life long Beatles fan, I was always impressed with the amazing curve they created in a relatively short period of time. In the US we were introduced to them in February of 1964. In a few short years the songwriting was getting more sophisticated, the lyrics more introspective, and at the same time more colorful and unconventional resulting in some of the best albums ...more
Timothy Maples
Jun 17, 2009 Timothy Maples rated it really liked it
A fine overview of the spiritual journeys of the Beatles. Christianity, hallucinogenic "enlightenment", the Eastern gurus, TM and agnosticism are all covered here. The chapter about their boyhood encounters with a vapid form of Christianity that left them prejudiced against that faith and one concerning John's "more popular that Jesus" controversy are excellent and should not be missed. The author, Mr. Turner lets the subjects speak for themselves without providing analysis at every single point ...more
Stephen
Jul 22, 2012 Stephen rated it liked it
Do we need a book dedicated to the spirituality of The Beatles?

The book does provided a good insight into the spirituality of the Beatles however often goes far to detailed into drug preferences and rarely mentions Sutcliffe, Best, or even Ringo. I also thought the final chapter was too personal. On the other hand I do like the quotes at the start of each chapter and was responsibly impressed with the photography. I like the 1st few chapter a great deal and how Ringo was given the final say. OK
...more
Bekah
Feb 01, 2010 Bekah rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting look at the spiritual journeys of the Beatles (focusing mostly on John and George as the two who were more blatantly interested in religion and spirituality) and by extension the generation in which they grew up. The last chapter fell a little bit flat, focusing a little too much on the author's own spiritual journey but not tying it in to the rest of the book as well as he could have. I wish he would have summed up the book a bit better and taken it a little furthe ...more
Ron
Nov 08, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing
On the first page, after the author defined what 'gospel' means, he asked and answered his own question: Did the Beatles really have a 'gospel'? He said, "I think they did. It wasn't their intention."
To me, if one knows the spiritual meaning of Love and on one among their song: All you need is Love, Love is all you need, then you have your own answer too. (1John 14:16)
Leslie
Apr 06, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it
As a true Beatles fan and avid spiritualist, what I really enjoyed about this book is how the author blended the spiritual impact of the Beatles on the world with their own individual spiritual journeys. Each of the boys was very different from the others, yet their thoughts and beliefs meshed together perfectly to have a great impact on the world. I just love them.
Rivkah
Mar 14, 2013 Rivkah rated it it was amazing
My husband pulled this book off the shelf for me to read. The Beatles? Sure, I know their stories, but why not? I found myself drawn into the lives and hearts of the Fab Four. I was captivated, page after page, as I gained new insights into what made them who they were; what was in their hearts and souls. I highly recommend this book.
Beth/Chuck
Jul 19, 2009 Beth/Chuck rated it really liked it
A different and interesting take both on the Beatles and various religions as they saw them. Interesting chronology of how their views were initially formed and then changed as they were exposed to more and different philosophies. It was an intersting change from most of the Beatle books I've read.
Amy Case
Jan 04, 2014 Amy Case rated it really liked it
Quite engaging but dwelt on John excessively, burying his interesting point that it was Paul who ultimately adopted a lifestyle more consistent with the evolved spiritual views of the group.
F.C. Etier
Mar 14, 2010 F.C. Etier rated it really liked it
Found this book in the Cokesbury bookstore at Lake Junaluska, NC. The stories of each of the Beatles' religious experiences will both challenge and inspire you. I looked up more stuff online while reading this book! LOL
Christia
Sep 10, 2007 Christia rated it liked it
I know very little about the Beatles, so this was all new information for me. A lot of interesting insights about the origins and inspiration for many of their songs.
Lori
Aug 24, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Verty interesting. Gives perspective on the spiritual influences that shaped each of their lives and how that was reflected in their music.
Mano Chil
Sep 09, 2012 Mano Chil rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
The author talks about the spiritual journey of the Beatles members. I liked the idea that Paul was a post-Christian pragmatist realist.
Eben
Jul 19, 2007 Eben rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alltimefave
I meet steve turner at a bed and breakfast once.
What a nice guy. We chatted about the beatles for hours!
Great read!
Zoe
Mar 23, 2011 Zoe rated it it was amazing
I love the Beatles
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Steve Turner is an English music journalist, biographer and poet, who grew up in Northamptonshire, England. His first published article was in the Beatles Monthly in 1969. His career as a journalist began as features editor of Beat Instrumental where he interviewed many of the prominent rock musicians of the 1970s. He subsequently freelanced for music papers including NME, Melody Maker and Rolling ...more
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“I would say that the gospel of the Beatles is not found in their conformity to an orthodox creed, especially the creeds of the Christian churches, but in their hunger for transcendence.” 0 likes
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