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The Gospel and the Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead emerged from the San Francisco “hippie” scene in the late 1960s and became for a time the largest grossing performing band in American history. The Grateful Dead embodied more than simply music – extolling a system of values receptive to divine wisdom and supporting earthly communities. Recognizing that the Dead drew on the teachings of many other spiritual traditions, this reflection examines the ways in which the Grateful Dead embodied Christian teachings in their commitment to community, their musicality and lyricism, and their example of grace. The Grateful Dead left an enduring legacy, whose power and longevity stem in significant part from the confluence of wisdom between Gospel and Grateful Dead.