From its very beginning, the Protestant Reformation adopted the theatre as one of its educational tools. Together with choral music, visual arts, and preaching, Luther, Melanchthon, Oekolampad, and other Reformers promoted both the cultivated school theatre and the popular street theatre in order to spread the new faith, create a community ethos, enhance knowledge of the Bible, and raise contempt towards the common enemy, the Roman clergy. The body was, like in all performances, a cornerstone of its educational action. Drawing on both traditions, the classical and the popular one, the Reformers were able to build a “site-specific” theatrical pedagogy of the body in which the individual body of the hero and the collective body of the community acted in different roles, and in which the city, with its political and religious identity, was rethought as the place where the Volksgeist came to life and the glorious histories of the Bible were revived by and for the “chosen ones”. Focusing on early Swiss playwrights and a fugitive Italian writer, the analysis will trace the features of a stage repertory often neglected by history of education, and pinpoint some still open questions.
In flesh and bone: bodily image and educational patterns in early Reformation theatre / Salvarani, Luana. - In: PAEDAGOGICA HISTORICA. - ISSN 0030-9230. - LIV:I-II(2018), pp. 83-95. [10.1080/00309230.2017.1358288]