David Bowie – The Hysteria, the Sorrow, the Frustration and the Hope

A clear thinking article.


This is my article on David Bowie in Christian Today   – it is slightly amended because I wanted to tidy up a couple of things.  The article came as a result of a conversation with my wife, Annabel, as she gave me a lift down to the church.  And then all these ideas just popped into my head, so I wrote them down and quite surprizingly it has gone, as they say, ‘viral’.  There are so many ‘Bowies’ out there – who need to hear the Good News!  As always comments appreciated.

Its great that The Scotsman has put much of this on their website!

And The Herald

David Bowie’s death, grief, and the frustration of a society that has nothing to offer the lonely

It was a shock. Of course it was. Make your coffee, switch on the radio and you hear Life on Mars on Radio 4. What…

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About Minimalist Christian

Phil Hemsley is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. He works for a multinational company in the power industry, has presented technical papers at international conferences and holds many patents. He has published two books, the most recent is "The Big Picture, an Honest Examination of God Science and Purpose". He has lived on both sides of the faith fence. He is married, with two daughters.
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7 Responses to David Bowie – The Hysteria, the Sorrow, the Frustration and the Hope

  1. Nick says:

    I’m surprised to hear that Bowie made such theistic comments. Much as I like his music, his life seems to have been typically self-centred for a popstar; the only distinctions being that he was easily bored and generally unintimidated by fashion. But I suppose most people, famous or not, have a fundamentally theistic outlook. Our survival instinct and over-developed self-awareness are unable to accept termination, regardless of the evidence. Furthermore, in the banal world of popular culture, perhaps the only remaining rebellion is to quote ancient religion.

    So what solutions should society have offered for Bowie’s woes? None; society is nothing but a collective of imperfect individuals. Like any of us, he had to work it all out for himself. Luckily he was able to entertain us along the way. ‘Starman’ seems to tease religion but, in its comforting musicality, shows the theistic viewpoint to be universally understood. It also alludes to the fact that many modern phenomena have themselves become pseudo-religions, like the desire to find alien life, as well as pop music itself, and its adulation of ‘stars’. With the best of them, Bowie appears to have achieved some degree of divinity in his passing.


  2. Discuss says:

    “society is nothing but a collective of imperfect individuals”

    What does that mean? What is a ‘perfect’ individual?


  3. Nick says:

    The article expressed sorrow that society had nothing but pathetic solutions for Bowie’s problems. This assumes a rather childish view of society which, with its institutions for care and discipline, is often mistaken for a surrogate parent. But society has no conscience other than Zeitgeist, and no absolute compass for morality. It is simply a collection of like animals who have consented to sacrifice freedom and pleasure for sustenance and security. Once we leave the incubator of education we quickly see that behind the facade of every great thing there is nothing but a collection of hard-working people. They may be cleverer than us, but none of them is perfect, and notions of society only exist in our minds.


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