Les dissensions sur la question des images sacrées médiévales et leur rôle dans la naissance du théâtre religieux occidental



When the specialised literature speaks of the birth of religious medieval theatre, it is often towards the written documents, fragments of dramatic texts, scenarios or scenic indications that it turns itself and seldom towards their contemporary pictorial images. The present study proposes to take a look not at the very images, but at the attitude adopted by the Church in front of the problem of their sacred character, from the point of view of the social and cultural praxis they implied. We are convinced that it is here, in the way of perceiving the relation between images and the cult of relics, between icons and miracles, in the way that the ecclesial and the political power knew how to govern the social connection of man to image in the church as well as outside, and most of all in the attitude in front of the presence of a divine nature conveyed by the image-icon, that the conditions and the premises of the birth of medieval religious theatre take form, conditions which are practically inexistent in the case of the oriental Christianity.

Keywords: sacred image, relics, miracle, image maker, Byzantine Church, Carolingian Church, medieval theatre