Moving the margins with/of methodology

Towards a drama lens on the Fourth Gospel


  • Cornelia van Deventer South African Theological Seminary



Various scholars have speculated about the possible link between the Fourth Gospel and drama. Such a connection, if valid, could potentially lead to the widening of hermeneutical lenses with which the Gospel is explored. While the exegetical field of biblical performance criticism has begun to break open the hermeneutical field by introducing performative and oral elements into the conversation, an attempt to formulate a methodology for a drama analysis of the text still needs to be made. This article evaluates the possibility of reading the Fourth Gospel through a drama lens in order to explore its possible performative impact on a first-time hypothetical audience. The article experiments with possible parameters of biblical drama criticism and how the translation of the text into stage-script format could be useful in academic and ecclesial spaces. Such a translation invites new experiences with the text and an expansion of the hermeneutical spectrum to include various non-textual elements like sound and sight. Moreover, it widens the hermeneutical scope to explore the audience’s own (vulnerable) journey with the performance by taking their possible struggle(s) with the drama seriously.






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