CFP: New Perspectives on Religion and Theatre (10/20/05; ATHE, 8/3/06-8/6/06)

full name / name of organization: 
jill stevenson
contact email: 

New Perspectives on Religion and Theatre: A Debut Panel
The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2006 Conference
Chicago, August 3-6, 2006

Religion is no longer a topic that can be ignored by theatre scholars and
practitioners. Questions of religion inform many of the issues raised in our
local, national and global communities. Our headlines – stem-cell research,
Terri Schiavo, the presentation of the Ten Commandments, prayer in schools,
suicide bombers, the death of a Pope, gay marriage – all revolve around the
public presentation of religious belief. The debate surrounding Mel Gibson's
The Passion of the Christ has been replaced by a debate over how the
religious themes in The Da Vinci Code should be handled as the book is
transformed into a movie. Why do performances that offer religious images
often ignite heated debate? Does performance challenge or threaten religion
in ways that other media do not? Why does the particular union of religion
and theatre often bring anti-theatrical prejudices so immediately to the
surface? Religious performances surround us. Whether these take the form of
controversies, violence, community events, annual tradition, private
practice, or public statement, religious performance has always played a
significant role in shaping cultures.

Open to anyone who has yet to present at a major academic conference, this
debut panel is sponsored by ATHE's Religion and Theatre Focus Group and
provides a unique forum for exploring the various historical, theoretical,
and practical intersections of religion and theatre. Why have cultures often
expressed religion through performance? What does theatre offer religion and
religion offer theatre? Does our interpretation of theatre change once
religious ideas or investments are engaged? What is the place of religion in
our discussions about and teaching of theatre? How can religious
performances of the past inform our current historical moment?

Please send your one page abstract to Jill Stevenson at Include your name, a short bio including
affiliation, the title of your paper, mailing address, phone number, and
email address with your submission. If applicable, you must also specify
what AV equipment you will require. The deadline for abstracts is October
20th. You can find out more about ATHE at

Jill Stevenson
Graduate Student Representative
Religion and Theatre Focus Group, ATHE
Apologies for multiple postings.

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Received on Thu Aug 25 2005 - 07:41:39 EDT