Acting Gods, Playing Heroes, and the Interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and Greek Drama in the Early Common Era by Courtney J. P. Friesen
While many ancient Jewish and Christian leaders voiced opposition to Greek and Roman theater, this volume demonstrates that by the time the public performance of classical drama ceased at the end of antiquity the ideals of Jews and Christians had already been shapedby it in profound and lasting ways.
Readers are invited to explore how gods and heroes famous from Greek drama animated the imaginations of ancient individuals and communities as they articulated and reinvented their religious visions for a new era. In this study, Friesen demonstrates that Greek theater’s influence is evident within Jewish and Christian intellectual formulations, narrative constructions, and practices of ritual and liturgy. Through a series of interrelated case studies, the book examines how particular plays, through texts and performances, scenes, images, and heroic personae, retained appeal for Jewish and Christian communities across antiquity. The volume takes an interdisciplinary approach involving classical, Jewish, and Christian studies, and brings together these separate avenues of scholarship to produce fresh insights and a reevaluation of theatrical drama in relation to ancient Judaism and Christianity.
Acting Gods, Playing Heroes, and the Interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and Greek Drama in the Early Common Era allows students and scholars of the diverse and evolving religious landscapes of antiquity to gain fresh perspectives on the interplay between the gods and heroes―both human and divine―of Greeks and Romans, Jews and Christians as they were staged in drama and depicted in literature.
Year first published: 2023