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Signifying God: Social Relation and Symbolic Act in the York Corpus Christi Plays / Edition 1
     

Signifying God: Social Relation and Symbolic Act in the York Corpus Christi Plays / Edition 1

by Sarah Beckwith
 

ISBN-10: 0226041336

ISBN-13: 9780226041339

Pub. Date: 11/15/2003

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


In Signifying God, Sarah Beckwith explores the most lavish, long-lasting, and complex form of collective theatrical enterprise in English history: the York Corpus Christi plays. Staged as early as 1376, the York Corpus Christi plays were performed annually until the late 1500s and involved as much as a tenth of the city in multiple performances at a

Overview


In Signifying God, Sarah Beckwith explores the most lavish, long-lasting, and complex form of collective theatrical enterprise in English history: the York Corpus Christi plays. Staged as early as 1376, the York Corpus Christi plays were performed annually until the late 1500s and involved as much as a tenth of the city in multiple performances at a dozen or more locations.

Introducing a radical new understanding of these plays as "sacramental theater," Beckwith shows how organizing the plays served as a political mechanism for regulating labor, and how the combination of theater and sacrament allows them to carry out important theological work. Beckwith's work engages and reveals intersections within an array of disciplines, including theater history, ritual and performance studies, religious history, theology, and the literary history of both the Middle Ages and the Reformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226041339
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/15/2003
Edition description:
1
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsxi
Introductionxv
Part 1Ruins and Revival
1The Present of Past Things: The York Corpus Christi Cycle as a Contemporary Theater of Memory3
Part 2Social Relation and Symbolic Act
2Ritual, Theater, and Social Space in the York Corpus Christi Cycle23
3Work, Markets, Civic Structure: Organizing the York Corpus Christi Plays42
Part 3Sacramental Theater
4Real Presences: The York Crucifixion as Sacramental Theater59
5Presence after Presentness: The Theater of Resurrection in York72
6Penance, Presence, Punishment90
Part 4Reform
7Theaters of Signs and Disguises: The Reform of the York Corpus Christi Plays121
Part 5Revival
8By the People for the People: The Gift of God for the People of God161
Notes191
Works Cited261
Index287

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