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Liturgical Drama and the Reimagining of Medieval Theater
Series:Early Drama, Art, and Music
MEDIEVAL INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS (MIP)
Aims and Scope
The expression liturgical drama was formulated in 1834 as a metaphor and hardened into formal category only later in the nineteenth century. Prior to this invention, the medieval rites and representations that would forge the category were understood as distinct and unrelated classes: as liturgical rites no longer celebrated or as theatrical works of dubious quality. If this distinction between liturgical rites and non-liturgical representations holds, should we not examine the works called "liturgical drama" according to the contexts of their presentations within the manuscripts and books that preserve them? Given the ways that the words liturgy and drama have been understood, moreover, combining them makes little sense. Given the distinctions that exist within the repertory, the expression also has no definable referent. Ultimately, the expression has little utility if we wish to appreciate how these rites and representations were understood at the time they were copied, celebrated, or performed.
- 288 pages