Edited by Roald Dijkstra and Paul van der Velde
[Topics in Humor Research 10] 2022
► pp. 108–126
Humour and laughter as a way to interpret the early Christian mime reports
The early Christian aversion for the comic and for theatre has been much discussed. The ongoing large popularity of the theatre, predominantly comical in nature, long after the establishment of Christianity as the leading religion of the Roman empire, tells a different story. Theatre and Christianity meet in a remarkable way in reports of mimes that were originally meant to mock the Christian faith. Suddenly, the protagonist converted on stage, and died as a martyr. The mime reports that have been transmitted are briefly presented and discussed in their historical context. Instances of laughter and humorous twists in the mimes and in the mime reports are analysed separately. The reports meet most of the characteristics of comical texts and could have been written by Christians who tried to reconcile Church and theatre.
- The apparent dearth of early Christian humour
- Christian fondness of theatre (and why some of them opposed to it)
- The Christian mime reports
- Looking for humour in the mime reports
- The humour in the mimes
- Humour in the mime reports
- Laughter in the Christian mime-reports
- Mime reports: Appropriation strategy or counterattack?