7. The Dramatised Word:

Theology, Philosophy and Literature in Conversation

Power of the Word International Conference VII
16-20 September, 2024
Dipartimento di Studi Europei, Americani e Interculturali
La Sapienza University, Rome


Marc Chagall, Introduction to the Jewish theatre

"The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life."
Oscar Wild

Potw Logo Blue 100The seventh Power of the Word conference will focus upon the 'dramatised word', and the way in which "the power of the word" is expressed through enactment or performance. We find this potency in literary and in biblical/theological conceptions of the logos as creative power, and in philosophical analyses of the 'performed word' in rhetoric and tragedy.

How does the notion of performance or enactment enhance the conversation between theology, philosophy, and literature? We invite proposals from literary scholars, theologians, philosophers, creative writers and practitioners, for 20-minute papers (with
10 minutes of discussion).

As in previous Power of the Word conferences, we welcome both papers which address theoretical issues and case studies of particular authors and texts, whether literary, philosophical or theological from different countries, cultures and traditions. Issues and topics for consideration include:

  • the importance of the 'dramatised' word

  • what makes dramatisation authentic or effective?

  • the tragic word

  • the comic word

  • the divine word performed: liturgy

  • the word and musical performance

  • the 'false' word: perverted or untruthful performances

  • dramatic theology

  • dramatic philosophy

  • the enacted word and spirituality

  • poetry and theatre

We would also like to encourage the formation of panels around particular themes, authors and texts. Individual case studies and panels might focus on, for example:

  • Plays in which an audience encounters philosophical, theological or ethical ideas, themes and conflicts

  • Religious drama

  • Verse plays

  • The enacted word in the experience and practice of faith in a pluralist world

  • Philosophers or theologians writing plays or discussing drama

  • ‘Theo-drama’

  • Adaptations and rewritings of ancient or classic stories (Electra, Antigone, Hippolytus, Hecuba, Everyman, Faustus, Salome)

  • Dramatization of biblical stories

  • Medieval and Early Modern drama

  • The divine word performed in religious liturgy, ritual and music

  • The enacted word in ‘secular’, non-religious ritual and ceremony

If you wish to give a paper, please click the buttons below to send a title and abstract of no more than 250 words, together with a brief curriculum vitae by 15 January 2024. For ease of reference, when labelling the file containing your abstract and C.V., please include your name.  Acceptance of proposals will be notified in February 2024.

Submission Deadline

15 January 2024

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