Performing the Sacred: Theology and Theatre in Dialogue  -     By: Todd E. Johnson, Dale Savidge
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Performing the Sacred: Theology and Theatre in Dialogue

Baker Academic / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

Performing the Sacred is a first-of-its-kind exploration of the intersection between theatre and theology. In a compelling dialogue between a theologian (Todd Johnson) and a stage artist (Dale Savidge), this insightful book revisits the rich history of theater throughout the ages, then paints a picture of its promising future while building bridges between the theatre and Christian communities.
Noting theater's reflection of important Christian themes such as incarnation and community, the writers show how theatre can engage viewers on political, social, religious, intellectual, emotional, and kinesthetic levels. In doing so Christians are encouraged to celebrate and embrace the dramatic stories of the human experience while engaging the dramatic accounts of God's people found in Scripture. A provocative and persuasive argument for live performance in a virtual world.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 080102952X
ISBN-13: 9780801029523
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Engaging Culture

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Publisher's Description

Christian theatre has rich roots, from ancient Hebrew dramas to medieval plays, but where does it fit in today's media-saturated society?

Performing the Sacred is a fascinating dialogue between a theologian and theatre artist, offering the first full-scale exploration of theatre and theology. The authors illuminate the importance of live performance in a virtual world, of preserving the ancient art form of storytelling by becoming the story. Theologically, theatre reflects Christianity's central doctrines--incarnation, community, and presence--enhancing the human creative experience and simultaneously engaging viewers on multiple levels.

This Engaging Culture series title will be a key volume for those interested in theatre as well as drama practitioners, worship leaders, and culture makers.

Author Bio

Todd E. Johnson (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is the William K. and Delores S. Brehm Associate Professor of Worship, Theology, and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and the editor of The Conviction of Things Not Seen. Dale Savidge (PhD, University of South Carolina) is the executive director and founding member of Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA). He is professor of theatre and chair of the theatre arts department at North Greenville University and has traveled the world as a theatre artist.

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  1. Lauren
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    October 16, 2009
    Lauren
    The vast majority of religious drama is sentimental mush, abominably presented, -E. Martin Browne. His experience of Christian drama has also, unfortunately, been my own. I have always wanted to change this, and, after reading this book, I now know that there are at least two other people who want to do the same thing: authors Todd E. Johnson and Dale Savidge. There are certainly additional members to add to this cause, but I have not had the benefit of meeting any yet. Ones personal creed is not something typically worn on ones costume sleeve in the world of professional theatre today. That is probably the main reason I found this book an invaluable resource. It opened up my eyes to the fact that there are people out there (and ways of connecting with them) who are seriously, critically, and academically interested in the intersection of theatre and the intellectual tradition of Christian theology. The book begins with a simple premise that is returned to throughout: There are 3 central tenets that ring true for both the Christian faith and live performance: incarnation, community, and presence.The book chronicles the love/hate relationship between theatre and the Church through history. We are carried from the popular mystery cycle plays of the Middle Ages to the denunciation of the artform due to the Protestant Reformation and the new divorce of the spiritual from the bodily that came with it, all the way into present day with a new call of action: step away from the rampant sentimentalism that regularly floods the Christian subculture and make intellectually-demanding plays. One reason people do not take Christianity seriously as a way to view the world is that we have limited and dumbed down the creative expressions of it. It concludes with a sampling of plays that are achieving this, including 2007s off-Broadway adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce and John Patrick Shanleys Pullitzer-Prize recipient Doubt.
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