The spiritual side of legendary folk singer Pete Seeger
Joe Giblin, File, Associated Press
The tributes to late folksinger, songwriter and activist Pete Seeger, who died Monday, have a common theme of an always optimistic man who could rally people to a good cause through music.
But did Seeger consider himself a spiritual leader?
"I’ve had preachers of the gospel, Presbyterians and Methodists, saying, 'Pete, I feel that you are a very spiritual person.' And maybe I am," Seeger said in an interview with Beliefnet in 2006. "I feel strongly that I’m trying to raise people’s spirits to get together."
He told the interviewer that his mother was "briefly a member of the Unitarian Church" and he joined a Unitarian-Universalist church because he needed a place for his chorus to rehearse. He embraced a pantheism of sorts.
"According to my definition of God, I’m not an atheist," Seeger added. "Because I think God is everything. Whenever I open my eyes I’m looking at God. Whenever I’m listening to something I’m listening to God."
He did write one song that could be classified as a hymn.
"His enduring contribution to the American Religious Songbook is 'Turn, Turn, Turn,' an adaptation of the beginning of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes (King James Version)," wrote religion scholar Mark Silk for Religion News Service. "The song was written in 1954, when the public began to become concerned about nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific."
And Huffington Post posted a slide show of quotes that give a glimpse into the folk icon's spiritual insight.
- John Jones died in a cave, but his widow...
- Sadie Robertson lets her light shine during...
- Watch: LDS musician Lindsey Stirling speaks...
- Utah State's Kevin Whimpey is an athlete,...
- LDS Church releases 'He Is The Gift'...
- Ask Angela: Should I end this relationship...
- Utah mother celebrates Thanksgiving with...
- David Archuleta, Mormon Tabernacle Choir,...
- New friends plan to work together to... 54
- LDS Church releases renderings of final... 20
- Mormon creator of 'Battlestar... 17
- John Jones died in a cave, but his... 11
- Ask Angela: Should I end this... 9
- Reader voices: I'm trying to be a Mormon 8
- Be thankful — there's a theology... 6
- 7 bizarre ways religious leaders have... 5