"Take Me Away!": Prince, the Bible, and the End of the World as Sexual Liberation

Jonathan Downing

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper


This paper is an attempt to redress a critical imbalance in studies of the pop star Prince's religious and theological outlook and is structured in three parts. In the first part I wish to contextualise Prince’s reception of the Bible against the principal exegetical tendencies of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, which Prince was raised in. In the second part, I focus on Prince’s appropriation of the Genesis’ creation accounts, noting that he finds in these texts a quasi-divinisation of human sexuality. In the final part of the paper, I look at the depiction of Jesus we find encoded within Prince’s music. Prince is overwhelmingly interested in the Jesus of the second coming, and his engagement with biblical texts reflects an enthusiasm and yearning for the eschaton. In the conclusion I seek to draw together these strands of Prince’s engagement with the Bible, arguing that Prince symbolises humanity’s relationship with God ultimately as a sexual relationship, culminating in a climactic eschatological event.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
EventBible, Critical Theory and Reception Seminar - , United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Sept 2011 → …


ConferenceBible, Critical Theory and Reception Seminar
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period15/09/11 → …


  • Prince
  • Popular Music
  • Religion
  • Biblical Reception
  • Seventh-Day Adventism


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