Volume 6.1

Carolyn Roark In recent weeks, I was reading an essay by Larry Alex Taunton—it was on the subject of young atheists and the need for Christian communities to deal more thoughtfully and respectfully with their philosophy of unbelief— and I was struck by an off-hand remark about self-declared “militant” atheists like Richard Dawkins. I suddenly […]

Volume 5.2

Carolyn Roark The events of the current US election cycle leave me feeling almost as if it is unnecessary to write an introduction to this volume. The parties and candidates have already done plenty to demonstrate that politics is theatre. There is a true sense of watching a high stakes drama unfold, with high tech […]

Volume 5.1

Carolyn Roark In his Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson offers a “Happy Thought”: The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings. One of my happiest thoughts as editor of Ecumenica is the pleasure of seeking everything I can find in the […]

Volume 4.2

Carolyn Roark In early November, I visited Trinity University in order to attend their annual DeCourcey lecture, a much- anticipated evening with Salman Rushdie. He was in good form—funny, insightful, mischievous. He alternated his musings on freedom and responsibility in the writing profession with entertaining anecdotes about his own experiences, charting the evolution of his […]

Volume 4.1

Carolyn Roark The day after Easter, Stephen Colbert opened his nightly television report with a queasy description of “going on a Catholic bender.” Wincing behind black sunglasses, he describes getting “totally pious-faced” in a holy debauch of novenas and “Our Fathers,” randomly blessing people as he stumbled across Manhattan, and finally waking up next to […]

Volume 3.2

Carolyn Roark Recently, I watched my various social networks light up with conversation in the wake of a Pew Forum study on religious knowledge in the United States. The executive summary for the study is available at www.pewforum.org. I recommend it to the readership of this journal, or to anyone with an interest in religion […]

Volume 3.1

Carolyn Roark This volume was never slated to be a special issue, and officially it is not. Yet the felicitous commonalities between contributions suggest it might be. Both features address contemporary interventions into ancient performance. Miriam Kammer’s feature titled “Romanization, Rebellion, and the Theatre of Ancient Palestine” uses recent archaeological finds to consider the possible […]

Volume 2.2

Carolyn Roark At its earliest inception, this issue was going to be dedicated to examining queer approaches to religion through performance. But then, on Valentine’s Day 2008, NPR aired a piece entitled “The Joy of Christian Sex Toys,” which highlighted the efforts of online retailer Book 22, purveyors of intimacy aids to married Christian couples. […]

Volume 2.1

Carolyn Roark Theatre making is, at heart, a utopian endeavor. With every production, we strive to make a perfect world— precisely lit, evocatively costumed, populated with irresistible characters, following a flawless story arc. Even if you don’t believe in the perfectibility of our own reality, it is what we aim for on stage. No surprise […]

Volume 1.2

Carolyn Roark Some months ago, Hazem Azmy and I were discussing the movement of ideas between “East” and “West”—those two mythical zones that fit so well into the binary classification system persisting in public discourse. Even though it elides, even denies, the polymorphous character of our world, you still see it in media outlets, on […]