Pulling the Siamese Dragon
Performance as a Theological Agenda for Christian Ritual Praxis
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Publisher: University Press of America
Number of Pages: 192
Width: 15.3 cm
Height: 23.7 cm
The masked theater of Thailand (Khon) is a classical performance art that ritually creates a realm of illusion by generating an ambiguous tension among its physical elements of self, mask and gesture, space and silence. Pulling the Siamese Dragon presents Khon as an ideal model of performance as a structured and expressive human activity, and suggests that performance, as a genre of aesthetic and religious import, may be further regarded as a significant theological agenda for Christian ritual praxis. This approach to performance has profound implications for the Western theological consciousness which generally regards tension and ambiguity as duplicates that require resolution and synthesis. Performance is one of the primary ways in which one may encounter the otherness of the sacred. By virtue of its very ambiguity, it constitutes an act of faithful integrity that should be taken seriously as an operative foundation to Christian ritual praxis, particulary in determining just what it is that we intend by our engagement in the expressive activity that we embrace as sacramental.