Chrześcijańskie widowiska zastępcze w propozycji Ojców Kościoła
Christian substitute spectacles in proposal of certain Church Fathers
Languages of publication
The Church Fathers presented a decidedly negative stance toward all public spectacles of their time, which they generally accused of being immoral and idolatrous in nature. For this reason, the ancient Church, although it has inherited many spectacular elements (especially in the area of liturgy – processions and acclamations, among others; and in the sphere of the language – many terms, expressions and comparisons), has never created its own drama. Many authors of that time, especially those concerned with pastoral implications, noticed that this definitely negative attitude was failing in practice, because many Christians, even though they had renounced the spectacular splendor of the devil at baptism, often attended spectacles, because it was very difficult to eradicate their desire to watch performances, which they treated as a public pleasure they are entitled to (voluptates). In response to this situation, many early Christian writers renounced efforts to uproot people’s desire for viewing pleasure, and proposed to change the subject being viewed. Instead of harmful public spectacles, they suggested watching Christian substitute performances, which included beautiful scenery of nature (as was already suggested by some stoics), but most often more expressive biblical scenes or events. The author of the article selects and presents five early Christian writers – Tertullian, Novatian, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine and Quodvultdeus, who openly wrote about such substitute Christian performances.
Publication order reference