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Leonard Cohen’s Theological Legacy: Exploring the Songwriter’s Work Through a Christian Lens

Thursday, December 2, 2021
6 – 7 p.m.

When Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist, died five years ago, the cultural world mourned the loss of a great artist—and religious communities mourned the loss of a unique spiritual voice. Cohen was a Canadian Jew who channeled Christian themes in his work and lived for years as a Buddhist monk.

He put all of those beliefs and experiences into words and music, and the theological legacy of that astonishing body of work is still growing. The latest exploration of Cohen’s vision comes in a new book by the religious studies scholar Marcia Pally, titled From This Broken Hill I Sing To You: God, Sex, and Politics in the Work of Leonard Cohen.

In this Fordham Center on Religion and Culture (CRC) webinar, Pally will highlight the religious impulses of Cohen’s six-decade career. The event will feature a conversation with Fordham theologians Kathryn Reklis and Thomas Beaudoin, as well as musical performances.

Pally has taught at Fordham University and is a professor in multilingual multicultural studies at New York University. She is an annual guest professor for the theology faculty at Humboldt University-Berlin and has written numerous books and articles on culture, religion, and politics.

Kathryn Reklis, an associate professor of theology at Fordham University, writes on a range of topics, from modern Protestant theology and religion to pop culture. She has a regular column in The Christian Century, and her most recent book is Protestant Aesthetics and the Arts, co-edited with Sarah Covington.

Thomas Beaudoin, a professor in Fordham University’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, focuses on theologies, philosophies, and religious studies of practice; concepts and practices of religious disaffiliation and affiliation; and the theological and secular meanings of popular music.

David Gibson, director of CRC, will moderate the discussion, including questions from the audience.


This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.