The Carnivalesque, Processing Change

Barry Stephenson

in Performing the Reformation

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732753
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777310 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

The Carnivalesque, Processing Change

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The focus of this chapter is the carnivalesque character of Wittenberg’s Luther festivals, especially Luther’s Wedding. The historical suppression of carnival and popular culture in the centuries following the Reformation is presented. The chapter argues that Wittenberg’s festivals represent the reemergence of a festive popular culture. Wittenberg’s festivals are interpreted as a form of a mimesis and sympathetic magic, as individuals attempt to actualize, through performance and reenactment, a remembered convivial culture of the past associated with medieval carnival.

Keywords: carnival; lent; popular culture; medievalism; conviviality; mimesis; modernity; street performers; restored behavior

Chapter.  12246 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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