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About me

My name is Shane Tierney, I am from Castlebarna in Daingean Co Offaly. I am 20 years old.  I am in first year in DCU in the Bachelor of Religious Education and English programme. I am an only child, my Father Matthew works for Bord Na Mona and my Mother Lorraine works for Medtronic. I love dogs and all animals and have two huskies and a Bichon at home. I am a keen sports person and although I enjoy all sports my one true love is GAA. I have played with Offaly since underage, and with my Minor club St Vincent's and my senior club Daingean. The image of me to the right is from one of my proudest sporting moments when I won the Offaly U21 player of the year in 2016.  

Reception of the Bible project

Eminem - Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Eminem talks a lot in his song about God and sin and repentance and forgiveness. In one of his first songs to release "Infinite" Eminem raps about going to hell to “serve a sentence” and then coming back to earth. In the chorus, he raps about wanting forgiveness for his time spent there saying, “now I’m trying to repent from it,” He talks in this song about his friends sinning and how he feels tensed and temptation when he sees his friend’s sin, “I’m tensed a bit, and tempted when I see the sins my friends commit.” To relate this to the bible proverbs 7:25, 26 and 27 speaks to turning away from temptation stating, “do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down,” "Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death" These proverbs are talking about sin and the consequences of sin and that is also what Eminem is referring to in the text of this song. A lot of rappers use biblical themes in their songs, here is a link to an interesting article on The Use of Biblical Themes in Rap Lyrics; http://muse.jhu.edu.dcu.idm.oclc.org/article/521613 .In this article the writer Carey Walsh examines four biblical themes that recur in rap lyrics with some frequency and from a variety of artists. These are prophetic realism, redemption, incarnation, and resurrection.  This article links nicely into the next Eminem  song I will look at which is titled "Rap God" the biggest theme in this song is "power" this theme is one which features prevalently throughout Hip Hop and the Bible and Biblical texts. God, that is whichever God you worship is seen by most as the ultimate power and one who should be revered, in this song rap God, Eminem says "I am beginning to feel like a rap God" this could be viewed in two ways the first one is that he feels like he is the ultimate power in the Rap world and one to be revered by all other rappers, the second could be that like "God" there are many people who do not believe in him or what he does and who question him and turn on him for being who he is and perhaps he feels like he constantly has to prove himself, much like Jesus was questioned throughout the bible, for example in Luke 22:67 Jesus is asked ""If You are the Christ, tell us." Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe."" and even in his final hours Jesus was mocked and ridiculed because of who he was this is shown in Luke 23:39-43 when one of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” I feel Eminem may relate to this treatment of Jesus as he himself in the early days of his career struggled to succeed in what was predominately black industry, and although he is now a multi award winning artist he is still ridiculed by the media. One article in particular titled "Eminem and the Tragedy of the White Rapper" which dates back to 2011 begins with the statement that "It is not uncommon to hear Enimen called the latest white rip-off of black culture, the Elvis of our time". The full article can be accessed hee http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.dcu.idm.oclc.org/doi/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2011.00867.x/full it is a very interesting read and concludes with this statement "Eminem constantly shows he knows his place and does not challenge the role comfortably occupied by white rappers. Ultimately, his misogyny and homophobia in the midst of his long-standing success serve, not as examples of hate, but markers of the singer's lack of socialization and adherence to a white trash identity that cannot be assimilated." Eminem’s latest song ft. Beyoncé titled "Walk on Water" has obvious biblical reference and is again I believe Eminem displaying through lyrics the power he has to stay at the top of his game despite everything, additionally within this song he admits that he is only human and has flaws, and he addresses his critics. For me it marks a change in direction for Eminem and does not contain as many profanity's or slurs as his earlier music and although I got a sense of anger from his tone I feel he softens the anger with the chorus I have included a link to the song below but do warn that there are some profanity's in the song and advise caution. 

Eminem has been a much talked about and controversial character over the past decade manly because of his controversial lyrics, the media hype and condemnation of Eminem has only added to his success and he has reached heights not achieved by many other artists of his genre. In my opinion if you look beyond the profanity's and the slurs there is a message for all of us in each and every one of his songs, some are messages of sin, rebellion and temptation and some are messages of faith, love, hope and redemption.    

Image from Reception project

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External media (videos)

Personal reflection

I choose Eminem as the topic for my project because as a young man in my early teens I liked to listen to Eminem and that honestly  was mainly because I was not supposed too or because it felt cool to listen to his music with all of the profanities and slurs the lyrics contained and as I got a little older I stopped listening to Eminem however music and listening to music is one of my favourite pass times when I am not playing sport and when I began searching for a topic for this project I started with music and started researching artists and songs with biblical reference . I found a number of artists I really like that make reference to the bible including 2pac and Kanye West but the Eminem link really surprised me so I dusted off the old CD's and took another listen and this time I listened to the story's and messages that were portrayed in the songs and enjoyed them so I decided to go with Eminem for my project.

This project did change my opinion on the bible. Researching this project make me think about the smaller, everyday links with the bible such as words or phrases or actions, I am used of thinking of the bible in terms of large complicated biblical texts and quotes but not looking at a piece of writing to assess the smaller more inconspicuous references.  I really enjoyed doing this project and I found it really interesting I could have happily gone on and researched much further and did in fact do way too much research and writing that I had to remove from the main project section. It was great to rediscover Eminem's music through slightly more mature ears.

My view of the Bible has changed a lot over the course of this module. We have always had a Bible at home in our house but it has for me always been a no go area, and not something I would have any interest in looking at. Since starting this module I have learned that the Bible and religion in general is much more complicated than I thought but also much more interesting than I thought, one of my strongest subjects in school was history I really liked it and to view the Bible form a historical standpoint during this module has been a real eye opener for me, it has been difficult as I did not study religion in secondary school but I am starting to read as many of the suggested texts as possible and taking notes of different points of interest to me and investigation further and I am really enjoying it, I am even taking up the Bible at home now and again  and having a flick through it. My mother had cause to travel to Jerusalem earlier this year with work and she took a few days off to do some sight-seeing. She described her visit to the Old City, as surreal, she said it was like walking through the bible. This trip is now definitely on my bucket list.

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