Power Struggle in Medieval Liturgies


The Medieval period is usually known for the demise of dramatic literature mainly because the Church considered "acting" a sin unless supervised by authorities. This article, by reviewing performance strategies common among European people in the medieval period, discusses people's interventionist roles in re/shaping liturgical 'texts'. It argues that the religious rituals of the period were sites of socio-political tensions between authorities, on the one hand, and the people, on the other. The aim is to challenge the dominant idea of the pre-modern era, that is, the medieval period, in which power was disseminated to people on a top-to-bottom basis only. In other words, the article contends that people were busy negotiating their own versions of body/politic(s) with authorities.