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Ad Faciendum Peregrinum

A Study of the Liturgical Elements in the Latin Peregrinus Plays in the Middle Ages


Robert G.A. Kurvers

The small group of Peregrinus plays contains a wealth of fascinating elements. They illustrate one of the initial stages of the development of medieval theatre, show the level of dramatic expression present in medieval liturgy and thus form an important part of the cultural history of Europe. The Peregrinus plays and liturgical drama in general can never be regarded as theatrical presentations in the true Aristotelian sense of the word. They are too deeply embedded in the liturgy itself and make use of too many liturgical texts, functions and furnishings for them to be defined as such. Therefore, regardless of the opinions voiced in the world of literature and drama, an extremely strong case can be made for the liturgical point of view, namely, that the Peregrinus plays and similar medieval liturgical celebrations could best be described as liturgical drama. The plays contain elements of both.
The Author: Robert G.A. Kurvers was born in The Hague, The Netherlands, in 1941. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1967, he studied Liturgy at the University of Nijmegen, at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute S. Anselmo in Rome and Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome. He defended his doctoral thesis in Rome in 1994 on the subject of this book. At present he lectures on Liturgy and Religion.