The Gospel According to the Beatles

In the latest CT, LaTonya Taylor reviews Steve Turner’s latest offering, The Gospel According to the Beatles. Here ’tis:

Veteran music journalist Steve Turner explores the spiritual paths of the Beatles—both collectively and as individuals—in this deftly and densely reported combination of cultural history, comparative religion, and biocritical insight. “The gospel of the Beatles is not found in their conformity to an orthodox creed,” he notes, “but in their hunger for transcendence.”

Turner begins by reporting the furor that erupted over John Lennon’s infamous (and widely misunderstood) 1966 comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now,” then compares the Fab Four to magical, shamanistic storytellers who shared the insights they gained through their spiritual explorations with an audience enmeshed in political, cultural, philosophical, and religious upheaval.

Turner wisely avoids the temptation to force the Beatles’ hope for freedom, unity, and peace into a Christian mold. Indeed, Turner focuses heavily on their use of drugs and forays into Eastern religion and the occult in search of enlightenment and spiritual insight. Still, Turner thoughtfully demonstrates ways the Beatles’ search reflects the continuing influence of Christianity: “They were skeptical and even dismissive of the church, yet many of their core beliefs—love, peace, hope, truth, freedom, honesty, transcendence—were, in their case, secularized versions of Christian teachings.

Can anyone who has read this book tell me if it is worth reading?


  1. I really like the new look of the blog!

    Sorry, but I haven’t read this book. I had a dream the other day about the second hand book shop in St Andrews, the one near the 18th hole of the old course. We shall have to visit the old town sometime this year!

    Congrats on your interesting sounding article, btw (Why the Chruch needs the world). Could you summarise your argument on the blog?


  2. Chris. Your dream needs updating … that book shop closed down last year – another victim of web shopping I suspect.

    I’d be happy to email you a copy of the article. It may, at some stage, find its way onto this blog. But for now, thanks for the encouragment.


  3. Yes, please do e-mail me the article. Thanks. (See my profil for my address) And I’ll of course respect copyright.


  4. CLOSED DOWN. *Weeps* Actually, in my dream (of course you are interested!), all of the books were in boxes in big storage cupboards, and the whole building was different – freshly painted, selling incese sticks and stones etc! A travesty!


  5. Chritianity and the Beatles have nothing in common. Look this up for yourselves, you will be shocked ot find the occult influences in the Beatles. I was shocked, I played their music for thirty years, but not anymore. Example: THE BEATLE’s have Satanist Aleister Crowley on the cover of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album. In his 1965 book published by Simon & Schuster, John Lennon blasphemed the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by calling them “Fahter, Sock and Micky Most.” The words of their own press officer Derek Taylor: “They’re [the Beatles] completely anti-Christ. I mean, I am anti-Christ as well, but they’re so anti-Christ they shock me which isn’t an easy thing” (Saturday Evening Post, August 8-15, 1964, p. 25).


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