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God and Mystery in WordsExperience through Metaphor and Drama$
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David Brown

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231836

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231836.001.0001

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Drama and Religion

Drama and Religion

(p.149) 5 Drama and Religion
God and Mystery in Words

David Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the history of the theatre and drama and its varying relationships with religious belief. It begins in the ancient world where the term ‘liturgy’ had its origins and where one such liturgical act was the staging of drama. It traces the revival of religious drama after its initial suppression by Christianity, not only in medieval mystery plays but also in now largely forgotten Reformation and Counter-Reformation drama. It then turns to baroque poetry and explores how disputes about ritual often reflected wider cultural change that is indebted to notions of theatre. Finally, it draws attention to the ways in which a relationship with religion continues, especially in the various theories that have been proposed about the value and purpose of drama.

Keywords:   theatre, religious belief, liturgy, religious drama, Christianity, Reformation drama, Counter-Reformation drama, medieval mystery plays, baroque poetry

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