The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre

The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre

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Religious devotees and theatre-goers have much in common. So much so, in fact, that we could say that religion is often a theatrical phenomenon, while theatre can just as easily be a religious experience. By examining the phenomenology of religion, we can in turn develop a better understanding of the phenomenology of theatre. That is to say, religion can show us the ways in which theatre is not fake. This study explores the overlap of religion and theatre, especially in the crucial area of experience and identity. Looking at examples from ancient Greece through to the 21st Century, its argument is that religious adherents and theatre audiences are largely, themselves, the mechanisms of their experiences. By examining the development of the philosophy of theatre alongside theories of religious participation, this book is able to demonstrate how we need to adjust our views on both types of experience. Featuring discussion of influential figures such as Plato and Aristotle, through to Jonathan Edwards, Rudolph Otto and Hjalmar Sunden, this is vital reading for any scholar in Religious Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies, Theology and Philosophy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 1138704415
  • 9781138704411

Table of contents

Chapter 1. The Problem Chapter 2. Phenomenology of Religion Chapter 3. The Illusion of the Self Chapter 4. The Creation of Self Chapter 5. Playing the Self Chapter 6. The Playing Audience Chapter 7. Conclusion
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Author information

David Mason is the Chair of Theatre and Director of Asian Studies at Rhodes College, USA. He has published a book and multiple articles on religion and the Arts, and is currently Editor-In-Chief for Ecumenica: a Journal of Theatre and Performance.
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