Western Christianity approached the mystery of the Incarnation as a tenet of faith worthy to be commemorated and celebrated both within and beyond the liturgical context. As it becomes evident in the heterogeneous examples analysed by the scholars participating in the present monograph, Christian communities throughout history felt the need to depict periodically the unfathomable revelation of the ‘Word made flesh’. The first section entitled ‘Foretelling and Announcing the Advent of the Messiah’ focuses on different forms of representing the exceptional circumstances preceding and surrounding the birth of Christ. The three essays assembled in the section entitled ‘Rejoicing at the Birth of the Christ-Child’ deal with performances that are reflections of mankind’s delight at witnessing the miracle of the Incarnation. The contributions included in the final section, which bears the title ‘Displaying the Collective Dimension of the Nativity’, deal with performances during the Christmas season or in the context of the feast of Corpus Christi that require a considerable communitarian effort. What all of the Nativity scenes analysed in this volume have in common is the fact that they represent a vivid expression of the commitment to the trust in Christ’s presence among men. The joy about the Good Tidings of the birth of the Emmanuel can be seen as the driving force behind all the different types of re-enactments of the Nativity dealt with in this volume.
Peter Cocozzella: Preface
Lenke Kovács: Introduction
I. Foretelling and Announcing the Advent of the Messiah
1. Eduardo Carrero: The Sibyl and the Prophets, between Kings and Bishops, in the Cloister of the Cathedral of Burgos
2. Francesc Massip: The Sibyl in the Christmas Season: From the Ordo Prophetarum to the Mysteries of the Nativity and Epiphany
3. Juan F. Alcina and Diana Gorostidi: Sorió’s Oratio litteralis in Christi Nativitatem (Valencia, c. 1513): Staging and Performance Arrangements for a Dramatized Sermon
II. Rejoicing at the Birth of the Christ-Child
4. Lenke Kovács: The Kindelwiegen – Singing and Dancing around the Manger
5. Jaume Lloret: The ‘Betlem de Tirisiti’ - A Nativity Puppet Play
6. Renato Morelli: Christmas Carols in Northern Italy. Oral tradition and written sources from the Counter-Reformation to today
III. Displaying the Collective Dimension of the Nativity
7. Claudio Bernardi: Living Nativities in Italy
8. Vicente Chacón-Carmona: Staging the Nativity in Castile and England before 1600
9. Beatriz Aracil: From the Officium Pastorum to the Mexican Pastorela
Bibliography — Contributors — Abstracts and Key Words — Index
Lenke Kovács is the president of the Société Internationale pour l’étude du Théâtre Médiéval and a tenure-track contract lecturer at the Department of Catalan Philology and Linguistics of the University of the Balearic Islands. Her main field of research is Catalan late medieval drama.
Francesc Massip is a full professor of the history of Catalan Drama at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona). His publications reﬂect his wide interests: popular theatre and folkloric traditions in addition to the drama and dance of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.