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Proclaiming the Passion: Popular Drama and the Passion Tradition in Luther’s Germany

Loewe, Andreas (2010) Proclaiming the Passion: Popular Drama and the Passion Tradition in Luther’s Germany. Renaissance and Reformation Review, 12 (2). pp. 235-282. ISSN 1462-2459

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Abstract

This article challenges the consensus that Martin Luther objected to, and actively prevented, the performances of protestant dramatisations of the Passion and the resurrection in reformation Germany. It examines Luther’s view on traditional popular drama in the early stages of the reformation, in particular his views on Carnival plays, Corpus Christi plays, and Passion-tide performances. A consideration of key works by the Lutheran playwright Joachim Greff provides an insight into the development of Lutheran Biblical drama from its beginnings in the early 1530s until the death of Martin Luther in 1546. The formal responses made by a number of prominent reformers, including Luther and Melanchthon, to a formal ecclesiastical investigation of the performance of a passion-tide play by Greff in Dessau on Palm Sunday 1543 not only provide a theological context for the dramatisation of Biblical subjects in Luther’s Germany but raise important questions on church polity. A brief consideration of the development of a specifically genre of Lutheran passion drama in the second half of the sixteenth century concludes the article.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Luther, Melanchthon, Passion, Bible, Germany, Greff, Johannes, Dessau, Drama, Play, Reformation, Popular Piety, Reception History
Fields of Research: 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: C - Church History
A - Humanities, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: VeryRev Dr Andreas Loewe
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 21:38
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2014 01:34
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/842

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