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Journal of Religion and Theatre Archive

The Journal of Religion and Theatre was a peer-reviewed journal run by members of ATHE's Religion and Theatre Focus Group, in existence from the mid-1990's through 2010. The journal provided descriptive and analytical articles examining the spirituality of world cultures in all disciplines of the theatre, performance studies in sacred rituals of all cultures, themes of transcendence in text, on stage, in theatre history, the analysis of dramatic literature, and other topics relating to the relationship between religion and theatre. The journal also facilitated the exchange of knowledge concerning the relationship between theatre and religion and as an academic research resource for the benefit of all interested scholars and artists. We archived the published articles below, by issue. Each link leads to a PDF file of the related article.  We are especially grateful to Heather Beasley for her work on the journal and in creating this archive.  

Vol. 9, No. 1:
Fall 2010


Michael J. Lueger. Baroque and Classical in Jesuit Theatre.

Wade Hollingshaus. Can the Mormon Church Come Out and Play? Negotiating Praxes and Spaces with Cornerstone Theater's Festival of Faith: 21 Theatrical Offerings.

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. The Devil is an Ass: Radical Evil Redefined as Ridiculous Evil from the English Renaissance to Contemporary Hollywood.


Vol. 8, No. 1:
Fall 2009

Donnalee Dox. The Willing Sustenance of Belief: Religiosity and Mode of Performance.
Thomas Fish. Sister Aimee's Dutch Swan Song: A Study of the Illustrated Sermon.
Robert J. Hubbard. Theatres of Shalom: Community-Based Drama as Kingdom Work.
Matt Saltzberg. Sacred Theatre: An Exploration of Suzuki/Viewpoints and Composition in Directing John Pielmeier’s Agnes of God.

Book Review:

Western Esotericism in Russian Silver Age Drama: Aleksandr Blok’s The Rose & The Cross. By Lance Gharavi. Reviewed by J. Lawton Winslade.

Play Reviews: The Hidden Sky, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Heaven's My Destination, Grace.

Vol. 7, No. 1:
Fall 2008


Nathan G. Tipton. "Thou Knowest My Foolishness": The Problems with Paul in Erasmus' Praise of Folly and Jim Grimley's The Lizard of Tarsus.

Jennifer Williams. Acquire the Fire: Affect, Ideology, and Contagion in Evangelical Performance.

Felicia Hughes-Freeland. Becoming a Puppet: Javanese Dance as Spiritual Art.

Emerging Scholars:

Brooke Kiener. Investigating Authority and Defining Difference: Radical Hospitality in Community-Based Theatre Projects.

Book Review:

Rabinal Achí: A Fifteenth-Century Maya Dynastic Drama. Edited by Alain Breton. Reviewed by Felicia Londré.

Vol. 6, No. 2:
Fall 2007


Claire M.C. Blackstock. Entertaining the Gods, Appeasing Ourselves: René Girard's Theories of Sacrifice and Reality TV's America's Next Top Model.

Douglas FitzHenry Jones. "Darkness as a Bride:" Heloise, Isabella, and the Dialectic of Transcendence and Deception in Early-Modern Theatre.

Allie Terry. Meraviglia on Stage: Dionysian Visual Rhetoric and Cross-Cultural Communication at the Council of Florence.


Jay Twomey. Blasted Hope: Theology and Violence in Sarah Kane.


Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. Intelligent Design (after Julie Taymor): Opposing Darwinism in The Crystal Cathedral's Creation: Once Upon All Time.

Emerging Scholars:

Rachel Bowditch. Temple of Tears: Revitalizing and Inventing Ritual in the Burning Man Community in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Book Review:

Postmodern Theater and the Void of Conceptions. By William S. Haney II. Reviewed by Edmund Lingan.

Vol. 6, No. 1: Summer 2007


Norman J. Fedder. Dramatizing the Torah: Plays about Moses.

Daniel Cawthon. Eugene O’Neill: Progenitor of a New Religious Drama.

Michael Greenwald. Calderón’s Quest for God in La vida es sueño.

Robert F. Gross. Broken Bodies: Scandal and the Quest for Salvation in Three Expressionist Dramas.

Mark C. Pilkinton. The Effect of the Reformation on the Antagonists in English Drama.

Peter Garvie. "The Fool of Conscience”: Comedy and the Moral Order in the Medieval Theatre.

Vol. 5, No. 2: Fall 2006



Rob K. Baum. Circumspection: Signs of G-d in Jewish Bodies.


Kevin Brown. Spectacle as Resistance: Performing Tree Ordination in Thailand.


Charles Joseph Del Dotto. T. S. Eliot as Medieval Modernist: Period and Ideology in "Religious Drama: Mediaeval and Modern."


Patrick J. Ebewo. Religion as an Ideological Weapon in Africa: A View From the Stage.


Diana Manole. "What Language Shall We Pray In?" Post-Colonial Approaches to Sacred Texts and Rituals in Canadian Contemporary Drama.

Emerging Scholars:

Charles Andrews. National Tragedy as Religion in Martin McDonagh’s Leenane Trilogy.


Christopher Swift. The Sacred Performative: Holy Wednesday and Colonial Ritual/Theatre.

Book Reviews:

Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama. Robert Lima. Reviewed by Edmund Lingan.

Vol. 5, No. 1: Summer 2006



Robert F. Gross. Figuring Guilt: Wolfgang Borchert's Outside the Door and Carl Zuckmayer's The Song in the Fiery Furnace.


Judy Lee Oliva. Religion and Relevancy in David Hare's Racing Demon: Connecting the Prose with the Passion.


Judith Davis. The Miracula Mariae and May Festivals of the Middle Ages.


Cheryl Nafziger-Leis. The Influence of Zen on Medieval Noh Drama.


Timothy D. Hoare. Pulling the Siamese Dragon: Performance as a Theological Agenda for Christian Ritual Praxis.

Debra Bruch. The Australian Aborigines' Struggle Against Authority: An Historical Perspective on Government, Military, and a Corrupted Christianity in Jack Davis' No Sugar.


Lee Krähenbühl. A Theatre Before the World: Performance History at the Intersection of Hebrew, Greek, and Roman Religious Processional.

Vol. 4, No. 2: Fall 2005



Christopher J. Anderson. The Wayfarer: Early 20th Century Foreign Missions Pageantry.


John S. Bak. Suddenly Last Supper: Religious Acts and Race Relations in Tennessee Williams's 'Desire'.


Jeff Dailey. Christian Underscoring in Tamburlaine the Great, Part II.


Donny Inbar. TAMING OF THE JEW: Marlowe's Barabas Vis-à-vis Shakespeare's Shylock.


Jennifer Lavy. Theoretical Foundations of Grotowski's Total Act, Via Negativa, and Conjunctio Oppositorum.


Sam Vasquez. The Deployment of Humor and Song in Asserting Black Diasporic Identity in Aimé Césaire's A Tempest.

Vol. 4, No. 1: Summer 2005





Rev. Jana Childers. Making Connections : Preaching as Theatre.

Lauren Friesen. Drama and Religion: The Search for a New Paradigm.


Lee Krahenbuhl. "God in Three Personae, Blessed Trinity": Theatre Education to Subvert the Puritan Antitheatrical Prejudice.

Rev. George A. Scranton. The Theatrical Process as Priestly Oblation: Teaching and Doing Theatre "Christianly".


Dale Rott. Intersections Between Theatre and the Church in the United States: 1930-1990.

Vol. 3, No. 2: Fall 2004



Heather A. Beasley. Blasphemy, Parody, and Running Commentary: Roman Catholicism and the Work of Karen Finley.


Norman A. Bert. The Incarnational Actor: From Christian Theology into Theatrical Praxis.


Ken D. Elston. Ritual and Inhabiting the Mask: An Actor's Search for the Transcendent Creative State.


Yvonne Fein. From Sacred Scroll to Stage and Page.


Mahmood Karimi-Hakak. Religion and the Actor: The Art of Mastering Double Standards Under The Theocratic Islamic Regime of Iran.


Pamyla A. Stiehl. Bharata Natyam: A Dialogical Interrogation of Feminist Voices in Search of the Divine Dance.


Philip Zwerling. The Political Agenda for Theatricalizing Religion in Shango de Ima and Sortilege II: Zumbi Returns.

Vol. 3. No. 1: Summer 2004



Debra Bruch. The Prejudice Against Theatre.


Mark C. Pilkinton. From Picture to Word to Picture in Tudor and Stuart England: Getting to the Word.


James Forsythe. Spirituality and Actor Training.


Michael Stauffer. Building Character while Developing a Character: An Investigation of the Integration of Faith and Theater.


John Steven Paul. He to Pray, I to Create: The Concept of Kenosis and the Stanislavski System.


Daniel Larner. Trucking Systems From Greece To America: Metaphorai, The Bacchai, and the Problem of Vision in the Contemporary Theatre.


Daniel Larner. Metaphor II: Understanding Dramatic Form In The Transportation Systems Of Metaphor.


Daniel Larner. Comic Ritual in a Tragic World: Lessons in the Metaphor of Drama.


Andrew D. Ryder. Translating a Medieval Religious Text Into a Contemporary Theatrical Experience.


Mark C. Pilkinton. The True Temptation of Christ: "To Suffyr temptacion it is grett peyn".


George A. Scranton. RENT: Reinterpreting The Gospel of Mark At the Close of the Millennium.


Dan Cawthon. Images Of Transcendence In The Plays of Brian Friel.


George A. Scranton. Love And Lovers: Mutuality, Sin, Grace And The Future In Moliere's Vision Of Comedy.

Vol. 2, No. 1: Fall 2003



Peter Civetta. The Performance of God: Religious Discourse in the Aftermath of 11 September.


Robert F. Gross. Glamour and Frightful Mutilation: Kondoleon, Kierkegaard and Camp.


Mark Pizzato. Soyinka's Bacchae, African Gods, and Postmodern Mirrors.


Eli Rozik. The Ritual Origin of Theatre--A Scientific Theory or Theatrical Ideology?


Herbert Sennett. Preaching as Performance (A Preliminary Analytical Model).

Vol. 1, No. 1: Fall 2002



Norman A. Bert. Theatre is Religion.


Davida Bloom. White, But Not Quite: The Jewish Character and Anti-Semitism - Negotiating a Location in the Gray Zone Between Other and Not.


William Davies King. Performing the Holy Ghost: Revelations of the Reverend Edward Irving in 1830-31.


Scott Magelssen. Bloody Spectacle or Religious Commentary?: Divination by Entrails in Seneca’s Oedipus.


William Douglas Powers. Returning to the Sacred: An Eliadean Interpretation of Speck’s Account of the Cherokee Booger Dance.


Delyse Ryan. 'Two Hours Genuine Fun Without the Vulgarity'; As the Bishop Said to the Actress.


Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. The Cross and the Bomb: Two Catholic Dramas in Response to Nagasaki.


Michael A. Zampelli. Trent Revisited: A Reappraisal of Early Modern Catholicism’s Relationship with the Commedia Italiana.


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