Theatrical Theology: Explorations in Performing the Faith

By Wesley Vander Lugt and Trevor Hart (editors)

A collection of essays exploring the ways in which theatre and drama provide conceptual models of use to a growing number of theologians.

ISBN: 9780718893842


Theology is inherently theatrical, rooted in God’s performance on the world stage and oriented toward faith seeking performative understanding in the theatre of everyday life. Following Hans Urs von Balthasar’s magisterial, five-volume Theo-Drama, a growing number of theologians and pastors have been engaging more widely with theatre and drama, producing what has been recognised as a “theatrical turn” in theology. Theatrical Theology includes essays from thirteen theologians and pastors who have contributed in distinct ways to this theatrical turn and who desire to deepen interdisciplinary dialogue between theology and theatre. The result is an unprecedented collection of essays that embodies and advances theatrical theology for the purpose of enriching theological reflection and edifying the church.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 296

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Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Wesley Vander Lugt is Lead Pastor of Warehouse 242 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the author of Living Theodrama: Reimagining Theological Ethics (2014) and the co-author of Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition (2013).

Trevor Hart is Rector of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews. His recent publications include Between the Image and the Word: Theological Engagements with Imagination, Literature, and Language (2013) and Making Good: Creation, Creativity, and Artistry (2014).



     Wesley Vander Lugt and Trevor Hart

1. At Play in the Theodrama of the Lord: The Triune God of the Gospel
     Kevin J. Vanhoozer
2. Beyond Theatre and Incarnation
     Trevor Hart
3. The Intractable Sense of an Ending: Gethsemane’s Prayer on the Tragic Stage
     Ivan Patricio Khovacs
4. Raising a Tempest: Brookian Theatre as an Analogy for Providence
     Timothy Gorringe
5. In Praise of Empty Churches
     Shannon Craigo-Snell
6. Play It Again: Kierkegaard’s Repetition as Philosophy and Drama
     George Pattison
7. The Play of Christian Life: When Wisdom Calls to Wisdom
     Jim Fodor
8. Doing God’s Story: Theatre, Christian Initiation, and Being Human Together
     Todd E. Johnson
9. And That’s True Too: Revelation, Drama, and the Shape of Christian Ethics
     David Cunningham
10. Eucharistic Drama: Rehearsal for a Revolution
     Marilyn McCord Adams
11. Holy Theatre: Enfleshing the Word
     Richard Carter and Samuel Wells
12. The Church as a Theatre of the Oppressed: The Promise of Transformational
     Theatre for a Youth-Led Urban Revolution
     Peter Goodwin Heltzel
13. Theatre as a Source of Religious Insight and Revelation
     David Brown


Endorsements and Reviews

It is one thing to say that ethics is ‘performative’ or that the incarnation is ‘theatrical’. It is another thing to presume that these sorts of statements are self-evidential, when they are far from it. This collection of essays offers us a clear-headed and stimulating treatment of the various ways in which ‘theatre’ orients the work of Christian theology. This is a very welcome volume for both academy and church.
W. David O. Taylor, Fuller Theological Seminary, Texas

For those who have been intrigued by the growing talk of the ‘theatrical turn’ in theology, this book allows you to enter the conversation. In these suggestive essays the ‘performance of faith’ is explored in such a way that the possibilities of this approach begin to surface. By the end of the book the reader knows that the conversation is not over, it is just beginning.
Kelly M. Kapic, Covenant College, Georgia

Any reviewer should applaud this publication as evidence of the vitality of theological inquiry in the academic world.
Martin Warner, in Church Times, 11 March 2016

There is ample scope for postcolonialising the project of theatrical theology, and so ‘localising’ the commendable achievements recorded in this book.
Jenny Daggers, in Theological Book Review, Vol 28, No 1