Theater as Transformance

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Dudley, Charlotte
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
As contemporary American Christians we have a secular/religious dichotomy ingrained in us. This reflects the principle of the separation of church and state upon which our nation was founded. We are comfortable with the Saturday night theater and the Sunday morning church realms as long as they remain distinct, but their admixture disturbs us. Theologically this bisection is related to a disbelief in incarnation and a distrust of physical form. Sociologically it is related to the “ambiguity of doing and showing” (Driver, p. 94). In the twenty-first century we as Christians will find it increasingly necessary to grapple with worldly problems and to integrate all aspects of our lives. For the sake of our mental and spiritual health and a more holistic approach to our lives, we can experiment with loosening the boundaries between the sacred and the secular, between what we do and what we say we do. As one avenue of exploration we can turn to the medium of performance for a renewed appreciation of how divine grace can be mediated through the physical world.