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Series:

Garrett P.J. Epp

Abstract

While the Wycliffite Tretise of Miraclis Pleyinge famously condemns religious theatre as sinful idleness and ‘signs without deed,’ biblical drama has the potential to be highly productive, as a form of performative theology. Much like the meditative mode of affective piety, likewise common in the later Middle Ages, when undertaken seriously by or for those who believe in what it represents, the performance of biblical drama can create rather than merely represent theological meaning. This paper examines a variety of texts and performances, medieval and modern, in order to demonstrate how religious belief and theatrical make-believe can intertwine.


Waking the Face That No One Is

A Study in the Musical Context of Symbolist Poetics

Series:

Louis Marvick

Poetry and music have seldom been more closely associated than at the end of the nineteenth century, and the texts in which Baudelaire and Wagner, Mallarmé and Scriabin, Maeterlinck and Debussy evoked the reader’s and the listener’s states of mind are unusually rich in suggestion. Can poetry combine, as music seems to do, the transcendent satisfaction of an all-inclusive viewpoint with the excitement and uncertainty of an unfolding narrative? Can it partake of music’s power in order to give a face to the idea, and substitute, without disappointing, a definite variation for the ineffable theme? Symbolist writers intent on achieving musical effects in words looked for ways to overcome the hard division of subjects at the foundation of language, and the strategies they invented, while not always successful, show their supreme expectations concerning the receptive capability of their audience and an unqualified belief in the transforming power of their art.
Students of aesthetics, of French and comparative literature should find something of interest in this provocative and original book. For ease of reference, a detailed abstract of the contents is provided, along with English translations of all quotations in other languages.

Odún

Discourses, Strategies, and Power in the Yorùbá Play of Transformation

Series:

Cristina Boscolo

A poetic ‘voice’ scans the rhythm of academic research, telling of the encounter with odún; then the voice falls silent. What is then raised is the dust of a forgotten academic debate on the nature of theatre and drama, and the following divergent standpoints of critical discourses bent on empowering their own vision, and defining themselves, rather, as counterdiscourses. This, the first part of the book: a metacritical discourse, on the geopolitics (the inherent power imbalances) of academic writing and its effects on odún, the performances dedicated to the gods, ancestors, and heroes of Yorùbá history.
But odún: where is it? and what is it? And the ‘voice’? The many critical discourses have not really answered these questions. In effect, odún is many things. To enable the reader to see these, the study proceeds with an ‘intermezzo’: a frame of reference that sets odún, the festival, in its own historico-cultural ecoenvironment, identifying the strategies that inform the performance and constitute its aesthetic. It is a ‘classical’ yet, for odún, an innovative procedure. This interdisciplinary background equips the reader with the knowledge necessary to watch the performance, to witness its beauty, and to understand the ‘half words’ odún utters.
And now the performance can begin. The ‘voice’ emerges one last time, to introduce the second section, which presents two case studies. The reader is led, day by day, through the celebrations – odún edì, Morèmi’s story, and its realization in performance; then confrontation by the masks of the ancestors duing odún egúngún (particularly as held in Ibadan). The meaning of odún becomes clearer and clearer.
Odún is poetry, dances, masks, food, prayer. It is play ( eré) and belief ( ìgbàgbó). It is interaction between the players (both performers and spectators). It is also politics and power. It contains secrets and sacrifices. It is a reality with its own dimension and, above all, as the quintessential site of knowledge, it possesses the power to transform. In short, it is a challenge – a challenge that the present book and its voices take up.

Series:

Edited by Martin F. Norden

The popular media of film and television surround us daily with images of evil - images that have often gone critically unexamined. In the belief that people in ever-increasing numbers are turning to the media for their understanding of evil, this lively and provocative collection of essays addresses the changing representation of evil in a broad spectrum of films and television programmes. Written in refreshingly accessible and de-jargonised prose, the essays bring to bear a variety of philosophical and critical perspectives on works ranging from the cinema of famed director Alfred Hitchcock and the preternatural horror films Halloween and Friday the 13th to the understated documentary Human Remains and the television coverage of the immediate post-9/11 period. The Changing Face of Evil in Film and Television is for anyone interested in the moving-image representation of that pervasive yet highly misunderstood thing we call evil.

Series:

Mireille Rosello

Abstract

Ismaël Ferrouhki’s Le Grand Voyage follows a father and a son who leave Aix-en-Provence to drive to Mecca together. The emphasis on religion, migration, generational and cultural or national differences invites us to place the film within a recognizable French cinematographic tradition: at first sight, Le Grand Voyage could be one of those “beur” or “banlieue” films, whose focus on the lives of migrants from formerly colonized territories in North Africa have gradually imposed a familiar aesthetic grammar. I argue, however, that Ferroukhi breaks with those well-known genres and experiments with a new type of migratory aesthetics. His Babelized road movie does not represent Islam as the other’s exotic religion, an unknown set of dogmas that is either feared or treated as a block of alterity. In Le Grand Voyage both protagonists are Muslims, but the film shows that religion is both what they have in common and what creates divisions between them. What matters is not so much the representation of Islam or even the notion that Islam is multiple, as the way in which each character relates to his own religious beliefs.

This new point of view is constructed by the film’s treatment of geography and language. Although the father and the son travel together, their journeys are radically different. The film reflects on this disconnection by simultaneously producing two different superposed cinematographic maps of Europe, and by demonstrating that each character adopts a unique way of communicating with the strangers that they meet on the way.

Staging Scripture

Biblical Drama, 1350-1600

Series:

Edited by Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken

Against a background which included revolutionary changes in religious belief, extensive enlargement of dramatic styles and the technological innovation of printing, this collection of essays about biblical drama offers innovative approaches to text and performance, while reviewing some well-established critical issues. The Bible in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries appears in a complex of roles in relation to the drama: as an authority and centre of belief, a place of controversy, an emotional experience and, at times, a weapon. This collection brings into focus the new biblical learning, including the re-editing of biblical texts, as well as classical influences, and it gives a unique view of the relationship between the Bible and the drama at a critical time for both.

Contributors are: Stephanie Allen, David Bevington, Philip Butterworth, Sarah Carpenter, Philip Crispin, Clifford Davidson, Elisabeth Dutton, Garrett P. J. Epp, Bob Godfrey, Peter Happé, James McBain, Roberta Mullini, Katie Normington, Margaret Rogerson, Charlotte Steenbrugge, Greg Walker, and Diana Wyatt.

Series:

Béla Bacsó

formulate once again the manifold thing much more truly, what we want to understand during the attentive/uninhibited approach. But let us not forget that in most cases we inhibit ourselves from the deeper experiences of our own proper existence, which might challenge our entrenched beliefs. Gadamer

Series:

Justyna Włodarczyk

above shows how the discourse of breed is also a typically modern discourse of belief in technological progress, science, and anthropocentrism: it is an apology for humans’ fascination with their own power, additionally augmented by modern scientific discoveries. This rhetoric of improvement continued

Series:

Mark McGahon

burial, it would be impolitic (and contrary to his Catholic beliefs) for Dedalus to protest to Bloom that Dignam did not experience “the best death” ( Ibid. ). On the other hand, if he consents to Bloom’s opinion, then he must disavow the chance that his wife’s soul “is in heaven if there is a heaven

Series:

Nuno Simões Rodrigues

left unburied, the princess chooses to honor her religious and personal beliefs, burying her brother who had died in combat. Antigone is a resistant in defiance of institutionalized power, who remains faithful to her principles as well as to that which she believes is natural justice, as opposed to men