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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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Part III. The Profane: The Human Estate


The presented constraint of rationing the material symbols with potentially sacral character was a visible aspect in the process of changes in the ontology of the Christian sacred.

Many consequences convince us that we may treat the reduction of the scope in the presence of the holy sacred in the world as a civilizational factor. Out of these consequences, we signaled the separation and individualization of the world of the profane and the responsible human individual. Its behaviors reveal their specificity on various, if not all, planes of existence, which we can demonstrate in relation to the sacred (chapter 11), nature (chapter 12), ourselves in the social hierarchy (chapter 13) and in horizontal relations between people (chapter 14).

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