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Theater and the Sacred in the Middle Ages


Andrzej Dąbrówka

The book presents a theory of relationships between the forms of devotion
and early drama genres. The historical background is the circumstances of the Church becoming independent of the Empire. A theological and philosophical aspect of the transformation of piety at the time was the specification of the ontological status of the sacred (spiritualization) and "shifting it to Heaven" (transcendentalization). In opposition to a theory of Western civilization as a process of increasing individual self-control, the author argues for the need to take into account purely religious conditions (the idea of recapitulation). This allows the author to develop a holistic aesthetics for the religiously inspired creativity in the period spanning the 11th-15th centuries and to propose a new typology of medieval drama.

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1. A Philological Exercise


1. According to the wolf best informed in the history we wish to recount, the fox initiated the quarrel and brought about disagreement. And it was

on a day at Whitsuntide

when trees and shrubbery alike

were dressed all over with green leaves.

Nobel the King had had

his court-day proclaimed everywhere,

which, he thought, – all being well –

would greatly increase his fame.

Then came to the king’s court

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