Dana Tanner-Kennedy stakes a claim for an unacknowledged category of contemporary American theater: postsecular theater. She argues that religious belief becomes a matter of choice in a postsecular era that struggles between post-truth reality and transcendental belief. Through in-depth readings of contemporary plays and performances—such as Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins’s Appropriate, Stew’s Passing Strange, and the Wooster Group’s Early Shaker Spirituals—Tanner-Kennedy suggests that these works rescript existing religious values and counter the historic secularity of the American dramatic canon since modernism. She advocates for a renewed emphasis on “religious literacy” in education so that academics and critics may better understand these works and their successors.
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Dana Tanner-Kennedy; America’s Postsecular Stages. Theater 1 May 2020; 50 (2): 5–19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01610775-8154777
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