Murphy, Diane Books
Dr. Diane Murphy is Associate Professor at Unity College in Maine. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her publications include a contribution to the encyclopedia Women in the Middle Ages, eds. Katharina M. Wilson and Nadia Margolis (Greenwood, 2004, an article for Romance Languages Manual and a book review for Kritikon Litterarum.2006 0-7734-5624-4
This book examines vernacular saint plays in French, Italian, and English from the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries. It focuses on the genre of hagiographic drama as an expression of popular religion and popular culture in the Middle Ages, serving as a test of current theories pertaining to popular culture. Socio-historical methods are employed throughout the work as a basis for determining the role of religious theater in medieval society. Contextual analyses of theoretical approaches are provided, including New Historicism, the theory of Mikhail Baktin, and the work of Victor Turner. The chapters offer information concerning the cultic traditions that gave rise to the saint plays, an examination of social changes related to the performances, aesthetic conventions, and issues of reception.