Alerting Silence: Learning about Contemplation from Samuel Beckett

Torevell, David (2011) Alerting Silence: Learning about Contemplation from Samuel Beckett. Journalism and Mass Communication, 1 (1). pp. 17-28. ISSN 2160-6579

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The judicious and timely use of silence within worship is becoming increasingly recognised as a crucially important aspect of its performance. This article suggests that Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot has much to offer liturgists about silence’s dramatic potential and its ability to alert others to a contemplative mode of being. I refute the predominant way of seeing the play as an absurdist text and indicate that a more persuasive reading would situate it within a contemplative hermeneutics which gives due weight to silence as an ontological phenomenon. One key to appreciating this interpretation is to see the play against the backdrop of the Christian contemplative tradition. Thus, the article, besides encouraging liturgists to pay attention to dramatists also suggests that dramatists might draw from religion’s insights and history.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: contemplation, silence, liturgy, the body, ontology, drama
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 14:30
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2013 14:30

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