A Funny Kind of Devotion? Laughter in the Biblical Drama of Late Medieval Towns and Cities

When people think of medieval Christianity they often summon up visions of mumbling monks and self-flagellating martyrs, opulence and grandeur paired up with austerity and strict morality. But where was the laughter? Where were the jokes? (And were they funny?) 

In this podcast, recorded as part of an exhibition on Festive Traditions in the North East held in Durham Cathedral in May 2016, Jamie Beckett looks at some intriguing evidence of popular drama from towns and cities in the North East. He shows that humour and laughter was alive and well during the medieval period, and gives us a glimpse of a robust performance culture where humour and laughter could be entirely bound up with devotion.

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