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College of Arts and Sciences

Catholic Life in Literature—Dramatic Reading: Dorothy Sayers’s Cycle of Radio Plays About the Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ  

Image of 3 crosses on a hill with a galaxy of stars in the background.The Department of Catholic Studies, the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture and the Celtic Theatre Company proudly present a dramatic reading of  James P. McGlone’s adaptation of Dorothy Sayers’s cycle of radio plays about the life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The event will be held on Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Theatre-in-the-Round, Seton Hall University.

A conversation and commentary with James P. McGlone, Ph.D., and Dermot Quinn, Ph.D., will follow the performance.

For more information, please contact Gloria Aroneo at [email protected].

About the Lecture:
The reading is McGlone’s adaptation of Dorothy Sayers' cycle of radio plays about the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Sayers. of course, was well known in the 1930's for her charming detective novels featuring Lord Peter Whimsey. What is often forgotten or overlooked when citing her literary work, is her English translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy, with her justly celebrated footnotes attached to the text.

The Medieval world produced many examples of the portrayal of the life of Christ, such as the well know Wakefield Cycle, and the three-day affair performed in Oberammergau. You can even catch a modern version of the genre, The Chosen. on your television screen at the touch of your finger. Our effort is adapted to last about forty-five minutes and concentrate on the final days of the life and crucifixion of Jesus, who Pilate mockingly called "the King of the Jews." Some find the performance of the life of Christ as intrinsically wrong. On the other hand, Greek tragedy is about the divine stories of Greek gods and they are frequently performed in university and professional playhouses. In any case, Sayers' text is not a liturgical or symbolic representation, but a realistic, historical, and theatrical presentation of "the thing that actually happened." It has often been referred to as "the greatest story ever told."

We would like to hear your reaction to this evening's presentation, so we invite you to join our "usual suspects" led by Professor Dermot Quinn for a discussion immediately after the performance.

About the sponsors:
Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University offers an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum for students of any creed who are interested in deepening their knowledge of Catholicism’s rich intellectual tradition and living heritage. Combining the study of history, philosophy, theology, literature, art, sociology, and other disciplines, Catholic Studies focuses on the Church's dialogue with culture and encounter with the world. Students interested in Catholic Studies have the option to pursue a major, minor, or certificate that complements and enhances the university's other degree programs and fields of study. Over 20 years the academic program and its variegated activities have stayed true to and fulfilled the Catholic mission and vision of the University. For more information, please contact Ines Murzaku, Ph.D, at [email protected] or Gloria Aroneo at [email protected].

The G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.. the Institute was founded in 1974 by Father Ian Boyd, C. S. B., its purpose is to promote the thought of G. K. Chesterton and his circle and more broadly, to explore the application of Chestertonian ideas in the contemporary world. The Institute’s work consists of conferences, lecture series, research, and writing. The Chesterton Review, founded in 1974, has been widely praised both for its scholarship and for the quality of its writing. The journal was founded by Father Ian Boyd, C. S. B., and is edited by Dermot Quinn. It includes a wide range of articles not only on Chesterton himself, but on the issues close to his heart in the work of other writers and in the modern world. It has devoted special issues to C. S. Lewis, George Bernanos, Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring, Christopher Dawson, Cardinal Manning, the Modernist Crisis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Fantasy Literature, Fantasy Literature, Special Polish Issue, Special Charles Dickens issue, the most recent “Special Conversion Issue,” and many others. For information about the Institute and The Chesterton Review please contact [email protected] – website:

The Celtic Theatre Company is dedicated to fostering the appreciation of Irish culture by producing and presenting Irish and Irish American theatrical and musical productions as well as Catholic Literary adaptations.

Categories: Faith and Service