English Biblical drama of the sixteenth century resounds with a variety of Jewish and Christian voices. Whether embodied as characters or manifested as exegetical and performative strategies, these voices participate in the central Reformation project of biblical translation. Such translations and dramatic texts are certainly enriched by studying them within the wider context of medieval and early modern biblical scholarship, which is implemented in biblical translations, commentaries and sermons. This approach is one significant contribution of the present project, as it studies the reciprocal illumination of Bible and Drama. Chanita Goodblatt explores the way in which the interpretive cruxes in the biblical text generate the dramatic text and performance, as well as how the drama’s enactment underlines the ethical and theological issues as the heart of the biblical text. By looking at English Reformation biblical drama through a double-edged prism of exegetical and performative perspectives, Goodblatt adds a new dimension to the existing discussion of the historical resonance of these plays. Jewish and Christian Voices in English Reformation Biblical Drama integrates Jewish and Christian exegetical traditions with the study of Reformation biblical drama. In doing so, this book recovers the interpretive and performative powers of both biblical and dramatic texts.
Chanita Goodblatt is Professor of English and Comparative Literatures at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
"What Goodblatt does very well is to demonstrate how the many texts she considers all respond to the biblical text. She begins each section with a brief but illuminating consideration of the Hebrew narrative, with particular focus on the “interpretive gaps” in the text. This preliminary analysis allows her to consider how all of the later texts respond to shared lacunae. ... Goodblatt’s efforts will be useful for those interested in the study of literature and religion more broadly, as it helpfully demonstrates the complex ways in which texts from different religious traditions and varying genres can be linked."
- Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger, Gordon College
"[Goodblatt’s] demonstration of the connection between the texts she chose and the biblical text makes her study a unique addition to the field of biblical studies as well as to our understanding of the importance of both Jewish and Christian voices in the history of the Reformation. Her analyses would be of particular value to anyone interested in the cultural context of these less-studied plays."
- Nilab Ferozan, McMaster University
"Goodblatt makes a compelling case for understanding the three plays in dialogue with other drama of the period as well as Jewish and Christian exegetical and historical texts. Her comprehensive, dialogic treatment of these texts brings out the complex cultural landscape that shapes and is shaped by the Hebrew scripture. Jewish and Christian Voices in English Reformation Biblical Drama proves a masterfully ¿uent interweaving of these lesser-known plays with the discourses of politics and religion during the period."
- Michelle Ephraim, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Modern Philology