Christodrama: towards a new Christian theory of drama as ‘salvific humiliation’

Fox, Michael Frederick (2019). Christodrama: towards a new Christian theory of drama as ‘salvific humiliation’. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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I investigate critically ‘theo-dramatic’ theologies that rely on a nexus of performativity, narrativity and ethical hermeneutics to derive metaphors for speaking of the action of God in history. Foremost amongst these is Balthasar’s image of a divine drama which moves towards us in love and sweeps us up into its performance. I argue that Balthasar, Quash and others instrumentalize drama rather than respecting it as a spectacle of the humiliation of human will in which human desire to be ‘more’ is thrown into question by a process of impediment and inhibition through an action which discloses a ‘salvific effect’ upon its audience.

Rather than vanishing the audience in the manner of Theodrama, I derive from Brecht the idea of ‘complex seeing’ to say how the audience, sitting above the flow, is confronted with the contradictions of its own position, and from Bonhoeffer the figure of Christ the Humiliated One which I correlate with dramatic processes to say how the audience moves from ‘complex’ to ‘salvific’ seeing. I develop ‘Christodrama’ as a Christian dramatic theory which describes how drama is in itself christological, disclosing ‘the new’ as the grace which liberates us from the ontological burden of being ‘too much’.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: St. Luke's foundation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology


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