Scene Changes: Performing, Teaching and Working through the Transitions
For a religion to thrive, it must constantly evolve in response to the scene changes taking place in the world at large. Alongside the ATHE 2019 conference call to engage theatre and performance in moments of transition, the Religion and Theatre Focus Group seeks scholarship and artistry that respond to the constantly evolving study of religion and spirituality. As theologian Timothy Tseng has argued, changes in the contemporary moment have “necessitated biblical and theological reinterpretations that [are] sensitive to cultural and historic contexts” (The Future of Evangelicalism in America, 2016, p. 196). In other words, instances of cultural and societal change stimulate religious transitions in a variety of ways, from approaches to religious practice to major shifts in theology.
In keeping with the overall conference theme of “Scene Changes,” and continuing pertinent discussions about Revolution/Revelation from last year’s conference, the Religion and Theatre Focus Group seeks proposals for individual papers and full panels that highlight the (r)evolutionary tendencies of religion. How is religion changing? How is performance integral to such change? What is the correlation between revolution and evolution? How might these changes be used to create a force of good in the world? What are the negative side effects of religious change? And how does performance highlight the way we think about religious scene changes?