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Text, Performance, and the Production of Religious Knowledge: The Protestant Passion Play and the Catholic Saint Play
In: Forum Modernes Theater, 32/2 (2021), 198–214
The article examines two specific types of theatre plays of the German-speaking theatre history of the Late Medieval and Early Modern period: The Passion Play and the Saint Play. In general, German-speaking theatre of the 16th and 17th century was characterized by the Reformation and Counter Reformation movements, and performances of theatre plays were, amongst other things, meant to spread religious beliefs and to show the citizens the ‘right’ way to believe and to behave. Also, performance practices as such were influenced by these movements: on the one hand, Reformation theatre rolled back the aspect of seeing, thus spectacle; on the other, the Counter Reformation tried to uphold the traditions of the ‘old’ faith – an effort which is seen in the staging of Saint Plays, rejecting by their very nature the solus Christus dictum of the Protestant faith but also upholding pre-reformatory performance practices. The drama texts analysed in the article show the reaction of theatre to socio-religious developments by enacting specific content and performative features and hereby shaping the history of Christendom as well as theatre history.
809 Geschichte, Darstellung, Literaturwissenschaft und- kritik
Gunter Narr Verlag
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