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Staging Faith: Religion and African American Theater from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II Paperback – October 25, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Prentiss contributes a vital work on a rich area of African American artistic culture...brings a careful eye and robust discussion to works that were not only labors of artistic love, but also platforms for social change. He sets groundwork for the continued investigation of African American theater as a vehicle through which possibilities for black spiritual, political, and social life expanded in great measure."-Kyle Brooks, Practical Matters

"Establishes both the significance of theater to African American religion and the importance of religious themes to a range of early 20th century playwrights. Through lively descriptions of the plays themselves, compelling analysis of central themes, and careful attention to historical context, Prentiss provides an exciting new perspective on African Americans’ varied religious experiences and expressions as well as understandings of the place of religion in social and political life. This volume is a must read for anyone interested in understanding how African Americans worked through the arts to define, discuss, and debate the importance of religious ideas, institutions, and practices."-Judith Weisenfeld,author of Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American Film, 1929-1949

“Craig Prentiss surveys a range of theatrical responses to organized religion and personal faith by African American playwrights in the first half of the twentieth century.  As he notes, correctly, analysis of and theorizing about representations of religion, especially Christianity are underrepresented in studies of African-American drama.  Staging Faith is an excellent pioneer in terms of addressing that lack.”-Studies of Theatre and Performance,

"Craig Prentiss’s compelling study, Staging Faith, illuminates the intersections of African American dramaturgy and theology. This original book methodically and brilliantly probes the nuances of Christian and Afro-centric religious influences. It is one of the most original and engaging studies on African American theater, enriching the field and advancing the subject in new and invigorating ways."-David Krasner,author of A Beautiful Pageant

About the Author

Craig R. Prentiss is Professor of Religious Studies at Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri.

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