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Palgrave Macmillan

Performing Religion in Public

ISBN 9781137338624
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

From a South African Passion Play to Turkish Sufi tourism, from contemporary street preaching in America to public Hindu rites in India, from cloistered prayer in 17th century France to the queer politics of 'the closet' today, Performing Religion in Public brings together an international array of voices that grapple with the important role of religious performance in our secular public lives. Because traditional notions of the public sphere have emphasized rational discourse in a secular setting, religion has often been excluded. But religious life is not impersonal argument; rather, it is passionately performed, crossing boundaries between public and private, the personal and the political, and claiming a significant role in modern democracies, from everyday cultural interactions to political advocacy. By focusing on the performative nature of both religion and publics, this timely volume offers a fresh and fruitful re-conception of the relationship between religion and the public sphere.

Joshua Edelman is Fellow in Research and Enterprise at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, UK, where he writes on the overlaps between religion, politics, theatre and performance in contemporary society. He is co-convener of the IFTR's Performance and Religion working group and a member of the Project on European Theatre Systems.

Claire Maria Chambers is Assistant Professor of Drama at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. She analyses the performance of religion in contemporary culture and politics through the rhetoric of liturgy and ritual, and approaches the playwright as performance theorist. Previous publications include articles in Performance Research, Performance and Spirituality, Liturgy, and Ecumenica.
Simon W. du Toit has taught at the University of Windsor, Canada, and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, USA, where he was Theatre Department Chair. His research interests include cultural performance, religion, and theatre history. Previous publications include work in Liturgy, Ecumenica, and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism.

List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: The Public Problem of Religious Doings; Claire Maria Chambers, Simon W. du Toit and Joshua Edelman
1. The Market for Argument; Simon W. du Toit
2. Public Acts of Private Devotion: From Silent Prayer to Ceremonies in France's Early Seminaries; Joy Palacios
3. The Durban Passion Play: Religious Performance, Power and Difference; Michael Lambert and Tamantha Hammerschlag
4. Church on/as Stage: Stewart Hedlam's Rhetorical Theology; Tom Grimwood and Peter Yeandle
5. The Intolerable, Intimate Public of Contemporary American Street Preaching; Joshua Edelman
6. Faith, Fright, and Excessive Feeling; Kris Messer
7. Congregations, Audiences, Actors: Religious Performance and the Individual in Nineteenth-Century Nottingham; Jo Robinson and Lucie Sutherland
8. Sufi Ceremonies in Private and Public; Esra Çizmeci
9. From Religion to Culture: The Performative Pūjā and Spectacular Religion in India; Saayan Chattopadhyay
10. Coming Out of the (Confessional) Closet: Christian Performatives, Queer Performativities; Stephen D. Seely
11. Performing Jewish Sexuality: Mikvah Spaces in Orthodox Jewish Publics; Shira Schwartz
12. Busking and the Performance of Generosity: A Political Economy of the Spiritual Gift; Claire Maria Chambers

Claire Maria Chambers, Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea
Saayan Chattopadhyay, Baruipur College, Calcutta University, India
Esra Çizmeci, Istanbul Aydın University, Turkey
Simon W. du Toit, University of Windsor, Canada
Joshua Edelman, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, UK
Tom Grimwood, University of Cumbria, UK
Tamantha Hammerschlag, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Michael Lambert, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kris Messer, Maryland Institute College of Art, USA
Joy Palacios, Vanderbilt University's Divinity School, USA
Jo Robinson, University of Nottingham, UK
Shira Schwartz, York University, Canada
Stephen D. Seely, Rutgers University, USA
Lucie Sutherland, University of Nottingham, UK
Peter Yeandle, University of Manchester, UK


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