The churches and the theatre

A question occurs to me whilst reading a review of a play (The Christ of Coldharbour Lane at the Soho Theatre): what is the current narrative of the-churches-and-theatre ? It seems that there is a great deal of commentary (and some academic work) on the positions relating to church music, and a growing interest (since the 1980s) in the visual arts, but rather less on the theatre. The churches have used drama amongst themselves very creatively, both within congregations and as a mission tool, but I wonder what happened to the treatment of Christian symbols and ideas within art theatre outside the churches ? We know a bit about clerical objections to the moral behaviour of characters in plays, but there must be a broader story to be told about how the secular theatre handles religious themes. Any pointers to relevant literature would be very welcome.


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