Theater, Culture, and Community in Reformation Bern: 1523 - 1555
This study examines the sociocultural context of ten plays performed during the formative years of the Bernese Reformation. It treats not only three pre-reform carnival plays by Niklaus Manuel, but also six newly edited works by local court secretary Hans von Rute. Individual chapters focus on the plays' polemics, staging, and choruses, as well as on local Zwinglian reform. An appendix contains the plays' fifteen song texts. The vivid staging and choral interludes of Bern's Reformation theater belie the assumption that the city's Zwinglian reform, which eliminated imagery and song from religious worship, rejected images and music in all forms. The confessional diatribe of Rute's later works further illuminates Bern's policies towards Zurich and Geneva, demonstrating that biblical plays were no less political than their carnival predecessors.
Preface and Acknowledgements
Performing the Protestant Reformation
Bern at the Crossroads of Reform
Protestant Carnival A Contradiction in Terms?
Theocracy and Theater
Protestant Visual Culture and the Stage
Music Play and Worship
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