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p. 272. Religion and theatrelocked

  • Marvin Carlson

Abstract

‘Religion and theatre’ attempts to describe some general patterns and contrasts, and suggests some historical and geographical implications of the relationship between theatre and religion. Beginning with Western monotheistic religion—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—it shows that the condemnation of images, fundamental to Mosaic law, encouraged a deep suspicion of any form of mimesis, especially involving the body. Despite this, they all developed significant theatrical traditions with close ties to religious celebrations and ceremonies. Generally, non-Western performance has been tied to religious practice from the very beginning. In India, early theatre was intertwined with Hinduism and Buddhism, the two major religions of the subcontinent at the start of the common era.

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