1st Edition

Politics of the Oberammergau Passion Play Tradition as Trademark

Edited By Jan Mohr, Julia Stenzel Copyright 2023
    252 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection provides a comprehensive overview of the Oberammergau Passion play and its history from the 19th century onwards.

    Specialists in theatre and performance studies, comparative literature, theology, political studies, history, and ethnology initiate an interdisciplinary discussion of how Oberammergau has built a trademark from tradition. A typological and historical outline of this development is followed by detailed analyses of the blending of spaces, temporalities, and cultures, through which Oberammergau as an institution is stabilized while at the same time remaining open to the dynamics of historical change. The authors comprise the formation of a theatrical public sphere, literary imaginations, and layers of authenticity in modern practices of distributed communication that culminate in the notion of tradition as trademark.

    This collection is analysed from a wide spectrum of cultural historical perspectives, ranging from literary studies, theatre and performance studies to theology, political studies, and ethnology.


    List of Figures

    Contributor Bios


    Chapter 1. How to Become a Trademark. An Introduction

    Jan Mohr, Julia Stenzel

    Part I. Being a Trademark – Typological and Historical Outlines

    Chapter 2. Comparing Singularities: The Passion Play and the Papacy

    Mariano Barbato

    Chapter 3. Tradition, Authority and Autonomy at the Oberammergau Passion Play, 1860

    and 1890

    Robert D. Priest

    Part II. Assembly, Community, Society – Negotiating the Theatrical Public Sphere

    Chapter 4. Pilgrims and Tourists  – on the Journey to the Passion Play Jan Mohr

    Chapter 5. Seven Ways to Get to Oberammergau: Travel Dispositives of the Tricentenary of the Passion Play Dominic Zerhoch

    Chapter 6. Quoting the Passion: On Oberammergau's National -Socialist Afterlife Evelyn Annuß

    Chapter 7. Volksschauspiel as Trade Mark – The Oberammergau Passion Play as a

    Paradigm of Imagined Folk Play

    Toni Bernhart

    Part III. Layers of Authenticity

    Chapter 8.Jesus-Casting’ as a Public Event: Oberammergau’s Wilhelm Tell (2018)

    Céline Molter

    Chapter 9. Let it Grow: The Holy Hairstyles of Oberammergau.

    Julia Stenzel

    Part IV. Compliance and Transgression – Literary Imaginations

    Chapter 10. Work on Myth, Work on the Institution. On Narrating Oberammergau (19th-

    21st centuries)

    Jan Mohr

    Chapter 11. Constructions and Enactments of the Christ Figure in Literary Passion Play Scenarios

    Martin Leutzsch

    Chapter 12. "What Kind of Man Must this Christ Be?" A Male Body and its Remains,

    Oberammergau, 1890

    Julia Stenzel

    Chapter 13. Playing With Traditions. A Summary and a Glance at the Passion Play 2022
    Jan Mohr, Julia Stenzel



    Contributor Bios

    Evelyn Annuß is Professor of Gender Studies at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria.

    Mariano Barbato is Professor for Political Science at the University of Passau, and currently serving as Guest professor for European Integration at the Otto-Suhr-Institute, Freie Universität Berlin.

    Toni Bernhart is Assistant Professor of German Literature at the Institute of Literature Studies, University of Stuttgart.

    Martin Leutzsch was Professor of Protestant Theology at the University Paderborn until his retirement.

    Jan Mohr is Assistant Professor of Medieval German Literature at the Department of Language and Literature Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, and currently serving as Deputy professor at the University of Bielefeld.

    Céline Molter is Research Assistant at the Institute for Ethnology and Africa Studies and currently working as student advisor at Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz.

    Robert Priest is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

    Julia Stenzel is Professor of Theatre Studies at Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz.

    Dominic Zerhoch is Assistant of Theatre Studies at Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz.


    Jan Mohr is Assistant Professor for Medieval German Literature at LMU Munich, Germany.

    Julia Stenzel is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Mainz, Germany.