Call for Papers: Theology and the Avett Brothers

Editor: Dr. Alex Sosler

Folk music has a long history of theological and redemptive themes, and the Avett Brothers receive and advance this rich heritage. The individuals of the Avett Brothers provide a broad spectrum of theological and spiritual concerns, and the concoction of religious influences leads to a unique theological viewpoint. Through their music, one can evaluate the contemporary theological climate: In what ways are they echoing the theological commitments of post-Protestant America? In what ways are they challenging it? They fill a role as border stalkers between religious and secular—both communities finding their music compelling and meaningful. As such, what are the theological traditions and voices that they resonate with, and how are traditions associated or competing? Is their emphasis on a broad spirituality a break with more robust theological understandings of the afterlife? 

In this call for papers, you can take evaluate a single song through a theological lens, trace a spiritual theme through several songs or an album, or assess their focus through their maturing discography.

A few chapter ideas to get the ideas flowing:

Making Sense of Our Secular Age: A Theological Analysis of “A Head Full of Doubt” and “Mama I Don’t Believe”

From Love to Politics: The Thematic Maturity in the Avett Brothers’ Albums

Hope and Lament in “True Sadness”

Life and Death in the Avett Brothers’ Discography

The Political Theology of the Avett Brothers through the lens of The Third Gleam

Tracing New Age Spirituality in the Avett Brothers

Desire and Repentance in “I Go to My Heart”

The True Self and the False Self in the Lyrics of the Avett Brothers

Abstracts of 200-300 words are due August 1. Send the abstract along with a CV to


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Gourlay says:

    What is the suggested length of chapters? And, if the abstract is accepted, what is the timeline for the submission of the chapter?
    Many thanks,


    1. Alex Sosler says:

      Hey Tom,

      Thanks for your questions. Chapter lengths should be somewhere between 5000-6500 words, and first drafts will be due in February/March time frame. I’ll finalize that when all the proposals come in.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom Gourlay says:

        I will give it some thought


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