Living Theodrama : Reimagining Theological Ethics book cover
1st Edition

Living Theodrama
Reimagining Theological Ethics

ISBN 9780367879303
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Living Theodrama is a fresh, creative introduction to theological ethics. Offering an imaginative approach through dialogue with theatrical theory and practice, Vander Lugt demonstrates a new way to integrate actor-oriented and action-oriented approaches to Christian ethics within a comprehensive theodramatic model. This model affirms that life is a drama performed in the company of God and others, providing rich metaphors for relating theology to everyday formation and performance in this drama. Different chapters explore the role of the triune God, Scripture, tradition, the church, mission, and context in the process of formation and performance, thus dealing separately with major themes in theological ethics while incorporating them within an overarching model. This book contains not only a fruitful exchange between theological ethics and theatre, but it also presents a promising method for interdisciplinary dialogue between theology and the arts that will be valuable for students and practitioners across many different fields.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Prologue to a theatrical theology; Practicing theodramatics: formation and performance; Playwrights, protagonists, producers, and Trinitarian theodramatics; Scripts, plots, and Biblical theodramatics; Companies, characters, and ecclesial theodramatics; Repetition, innovation, and traditional theodramatics; Audiences, interaction, and missional theodramatics; Environments, places, and contextual theodramatics; Epilogue; Bibliography; Indexes.

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Wesley Vander Lugt (PhD, Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, University of St Andrews) is Lead Pastor of Warehouse 242 in Charlotte, North Carolina. His other books include Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition (IVP Academic, 2013), co-authored with Kelly Kapic, Theatrical Theology: Explorations in Performing the Faith (Cascade Books, forthcoming), co-edited with Trevor Hart, and ’Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Christianity’ in Reading Christian Theology in the Protestant Tradition (T&T Clark, forthcoming).


'This book marks a significant gatepost in the analogy of theology and theatre: an opportunity for looking back at how far we have come, and to look forward to what may lie ahead. Identifying key themes and motifs in theatrical theory and practice and bringing them into dialogue with significant dimensions in theology and theological ethics, Wes Vander Lugt enters the company of actors on the theological stage. All other players are likely to be glad to accept the wisdom presented in this invaluable book.' Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, UK and author of the Foreword ’The turn to theater is not yet as well-known as the earlier turns to language and narrative, but it may prove to be every bit as far-reaching, not least for theology and theological ethics. Vander Lugt’s richly researched and clearly written work helps us make the turn, and will elicit oohs and aahs as readers come to appreciate the theatrical model and take in the exciting new vistas for integrating doctrine and life, theory and practice, formation and performance. At the core of the proposal is an important and creative suggestion about the need for disciples to learn disponibility: the readiness to receive, and respond fittingly to, any and all divine initiatives, in particular the offer of life in Christ. Living Theodrama builds and improves on previous work in theatrical theology and ethics and will become a must-read for anyone wanting to join the conversation.’ Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA ’Much theological writing in recent times has employed the idea of performance to explicate the true character of Christian ethics. However, such an analogy with the theatre has often been pursued with little understanding of the nature of acting as such. That fault is amply rectified in this fascinating study in which numerous twentieth century analyses of the stage are discussed to great effect in illuminating how Christian practice a