Playing On: Re-staging the Passion after the Death of God


In what is often considered ‘a society “after God”’, millions of Dutch participate annually in a public multi-media performance of Christ's Passion. What to make of this paradox? In Playing On: Re-staging the Passion after the Death of God, Mirella Klomp offers a theological analysis of this performance and those involved in it. Working in an interdisciplinary fashion and utilizing creative interludes, she demonstrates how precisely this production of Jesus' last hours carves out a new and unexpected space for God in a (post-)secular culture. Klomp argues compellingly that understanding God's presence in the Western world requires looking beyond the church and at the public domain; that is the future of practical theology. She lays out this agenda for practical theology by showing how the Dutch playfully rediscover Christian tradition, and – perhaps – even God.
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Mirella Klomp, Ph.D. (2009), is assistant professor of Practical Theology at the Protestant Theological University (Amsterdam, NL). She is the author of multiple publications on contemporary religion, ritual, culture, music and embodiment, including the monograph The Sound of Worship (Peeters, 2011).
List of Charts, Figures and Tables


Setting the Stage

1 The Play: A Popular Passion in the Public Sphere
2 The Scenery: Dwellings in a Sacro-Soundscape
3 The Re-Appearance of God: Ana-Liturgy

Cross-Fading Perspectives on the Play

4 Claiming Sacred Ground: A Spatial Practice
Side Light: Locus Iste. A Meditation
5 Playing with the Sacred: A Ludic Practice
Side Light: @deusludens. A Twitter Thread
6 Dealing with Society’s Secular Self-Understanding: A Reflexive Practice
Side Light: Reflections in a Mirror. A Meditative Exegesis
7 Staging the Resurrection: A Public Theological Practice
Side Light: What Is This All About? A Letter

Full Up Finish

8 Playing on: Practical Theology after the Death of God
Appendix 1: Research Methodology
Appendix 2: Tables
All interested in contemporary of Christian religion in contemporary Western cultures and anyone concerned with a quest for God in societies that can be seen as both ‘post-secular’ and ‘post-Christian’.
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