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Graham, Martha

(182 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (May 11, 1894, Pittsburgh, PA – Apr 1, 1991, New York), an American dancer and choreographer who is considered one of the pioneers of modern dance. After the completion of her training in Los Angeles, she first appeared in reviews and on vaudeville shows, and founded the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 1927 as well as the Dance Repertory Theatre in New York in 1930. She called for the involvement of the entire body and mind in the dramatic conception. Her more than 200 choreographies dealt with historical themes ( Frontier, 1935; Appalachian Spring, 1944), Gre…

Hollywood and Popular Religion

(525 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] Hollywood, situated to the northwest of the city center and first planned as an alcohol-free district in 1887, has been a district of Los Angeles since 1910. Shortly after the first films were screened (1885), the film industry was attracted to the place by its mild, sunny climate, varied scenery and plentiful labor. The filming of The Count of Monte Cristo, which began in Chicago, was completed ¶ in Hollywood in 1908. Numerous studios (20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, Columbia, Warner Brothers) were established in Hollywood from …


(445 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] The term festivals (Ger. Festspiele) embraces various cultural works and events. 1. Plays devoted to historical, political, or religious subjects were written and produced for special occasions. This genre, which appeared in the late 15th century, flourished in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. As an essential element of a court or national feast and as a staged self-reflexion, the festival served an apologetic or propagandistic function and was intended to establish or consolidate a group…

Sterne, Laurence

(166 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Nov 24, 1713, Clonmel, Ireland – Mar 18, 1768, London), novelist and Anglican clergyman. Initially he published sermons and pamphlets. After his A Political Romance (1759), a satire on church politics that was immediately banned, the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy, his major work, appeared in 1760 (vols. III–IX appeared 1761–1767). Subjectivity as its dominant narrative stance eschews chronological and causal narrative coherence, elevates digression to a structural principle, and makes the reader complicit in cons…


(233 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] began in the mid-1970s in New York as part of the complex, initially Afro-American and later international hip-hop movement, other expressions of which are DJing, breakdance, and graffiti. Rap (in the double sense of “utter vigorously” and “tap smartly”) is a rhythmic, mostly rhyming speech song with percussion accompaniment. It is thought to have arisen from Caribbean and African narrative traditions ( griot), from narrative Blues (Blues and religion), and from Black Power lyrics. The texts are about everyday social life of urban youth (esp…


(3,916 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard | Sundermeier, Theo | Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity – II. Drama and Religion – III. Drama and the Christian Tradition I. Greco-Roman Antiquity 1. Concept The noun δρᾶμα/ dráma, derived from the verb δρᾶν ( drán, “do, act”), seldom means “action, deed” in the general sense. Especially in the tragedies of Aeschylus, the verb and noun form the antithesis of παϑεῖν ( patheín, “suffer”) and πάϑος ( páthos, “suffering”), for example in Aesch. Ag. 533. Predominant is the special meaning “drama, play” (Theater), in which the aspect of staging and stage action stands out (e.g. Arist., Ranae 920). Deriv…

Eliot, Thomas Stearns

(548 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (T.S.; Nov 26, 1888 St. Louis, LA – Jan 4, 1965 London). From a Unitarian family, Eliot became one of the pioneers of modern literature and a guiding figure of Anglo-American culture in the 20th century, (a) through his studies at Harvard (with a dissertation of the philosophical idealism of F.H. Bradley) and his sojourns at the Sorbonne and in England, where he ultimately settled in 1915, and (b) under the influence of the French symbolists (Symbolism; already evident in his first volume of poetry, Prufrock and Other Observations, 1917) and, especially, the modernis…

Jackson, Mahalia

(215 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Mahala; Oct 26, 1911, New Orleans, LA – Jan 27, 1972, Evergreen Park, IL), an Afro-American singer. Raised as the daughter of a dock worker and Baptist pastor, Mahalia Jackson began singing in the choir of her church congregation already as a five-year-old. From 1927 onward, she worked as a domestic employee in Chicago, but increasingly earned her livelihood from singing in churches. After being discovered by T. Dorsey (1935), she attained international fame through concerts and …

Dickinson, Emily Elizabeth

(164 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Dec 10, 1830, Amherst, MA – May 15, 1886, ibid.) was an American poet who spent the last 30 years of her life in almost total seclusion in the small town where she grew up. She came from a middle-class Puritan home and was educated at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. In reaction to the liberal congregationalism of her environment, she kept her distance from church institutions and even Christiani…

Steinbeck, John

(175 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Feb 27, 1902, Salinas, CA – Dec 20, 1968, New York), American writer and journalist. His realistic novels and short stories, mostly set in California, are characterized by incisive social criticism. His characters are caught between the poles of ethical idealism and materialism ( The Pearl, 1947) and between biological or social determinism and free will ( East of Eden, 1952). He focused repeatedly on the lives of losers – as in Of Mice and Men (1937) and Cannery Row (1944) – and the struggle for economic and social justice, for example in In Dubious Battle (1936) and The Gra…

Saint Denis, Ruth

(146 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Jan 20, 1879, Newark, NJ – Jul 21, 1968, Hollywood, CA), dancer and choreographer. After initial success in vaudeville and on Broadway, she focused her style on ethno-religious themes and became a pioneer of modern American dance. Particularly interested in the traditions of Egypt and India, she created the dances “Radha” (1906), “The Incense” (1909), and “The Cobra” (1909). On her tours in Europe and India, she danced in oriental costume. In 1915 she and her husband T. Shawn fou…

Warren, Robert Penn

(161 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Apr 24, 1905, Guthrie, KY – Sep 15, 1989, Stratton VT), American author, poet, and literary critic. His works, set primarily in the American South, center on interpersonal relationships and power struggles against the background of complex historical process. With the other members of the conservative literary group called the Fugitives, he was convinced of the need for a religious, political, and aesthetic counterpoise to a world dominated by technology and rationality. In works like his novels Night Rider (1939) and All the King’s Men (1946), which received th…

Folk Piety/Folk Religion

(6,308 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred | Krech, Volkhard | Lowenstein, Steven | Fuchs, Ottmar | Schieder, Rolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Folk/Folk Religion – II. Religious Studies – III. Judaism – IV. Christianity – V. Islam I. Folk/Folk Religion In the English-speaking realm, the adjective “folk” marks common cultural pheonomena as expressions of a peas-¶ ant population. The superordinated term “folk-lore,” coined in 1846 by William John Thomas and popularized by the establishment of Folklore Societies (England 1878, USA 1888), in its customary, more restricted definition encompasses the pre-literary tradition, i.e. the narratives and songs…

Singer, Isaac Bashevis

(175 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] ( Jul 14, 1904, Radzymin, Poland – Jul 24, 1991, Surfside, FL). Raised as the son of a Hasidic rabbi in Poland, Singer chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps but became a writer; in 1935 he emigrated to America. His short stories, novels, and children’s books, set in Polish shtetls ( Satan in Goray, 1935; The Family Moskat, 1950; The Slave, 1962), America, and Israel, deal with the conflicts of Jews adhering to the traditional faith in a secular world or immigrants who could not forget the Holocaust ¶ ( Enemies: A Love Story, 1972). Often his stories, written in Yid…


(169 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[English Version] Singer, Isaac Bashevis (14.7.1904 Radzymin, Polen – 24.7.1991 Surfside, FL). Als Sohn eines chassidischen Rabbis in Polen aufgewachsen, wählte S. nicht den Beruf seines Vaters, sondern wurde Schriftsteller und wanderte 1935 nach Amerika aus. Gegenstand seiner im polnischen Stetl (Satan in Goray, 1935; The Family Moskat, 1950; The Slave, 1962), in Amerika und in Israel spielenden Kurzgesch., Romane und Kinderbücher sind die Konflikte von am traditionellen Glauben festhaltenden Juden…


(160 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[English Version] Steinbeck, John (27.2.1902 Salinas, CA – 20.12.1968 New York), amer. Schriftsteller und Journalist, dessen meist in Kalifornien spielende Romane und Kurzgesch. von einem ausgeprägten sozialkrit. Realismus geprägt sind. Seine Charaktere leben im Spannungsfeld zw. ethischem Idealismus und Materialismus (The Pearl, 1947) und zw. biologischer oder sozialer Determination und freiem Willen (East of Eden, 1952). Immer wieder thematisierte S. das Leben der Zukurzgekommenen – so in »Of Mic…

Saint Denis

(164 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[English Version] Saint Denis, Ruth (20.1.1879 Newark, NJ–21.7.1968 Hollywood, CA), Tänzerin und Choreographin, die nach anfänglichen Erfolgen im Vaudeville und am Broadway ihren Stil an ethnisch-rel. Themen orientierte und zur Pionierin des modernen amer. Tanzes wurde. V.a. interessiert an den Traditionen Ägyptens und Indiens, schuf sie die vom Hinduismus inspirierten Tänze Radha (1906), The Incense (1909) und Cobra (1909). Auf ihren Europa- und Indientourneen tanzte sie in orientalischen Kostümen.…


(148 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[English Version] Warren, Robert Penn (24.4.1905 Guthrie, KY – 15.9.1989 Stratton, VT), amer. Schriftsteller, Dichter und Literaturkritiker, dessen Werke v.a. im amer. Süden spielen und zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen und Machtverhältnisse vor dem Hintergrund komplexer gesch. Prozesse thematisieren. Zus. mit den anderen Mitgliedern der konservativen lit. Gruppe der »Fugitives« war er von der Notwendigkeit eines rel., polit. und ästhetischen Gegengewichtes zu einer technisierten und vernunftorientier…


(229 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[English Version] . R. Music entstand Mitte der 70er Jahre des 20.Jh. in New York als Teil der komplexen, zunächst afroamer. und später internationalisierten Hiphop-Bewegung, deren andere Ausdrucksformen »DJaying«, »Breakdance« und »Graffiti« sind. R. (in der Doppelbedeutung von »vor sich hin reden« und »pochen«) ist ein rhythmischer, meist gereimter Sprechgesang zu perkussiver Musikbegleitung und entstand vermutlich aus karibischen und afrikanischen Erzähltraditionen (»griot«), aus dem narrativen…


(143 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[English Version] Sterne, Laurence (24.11.1713 Clonmel, Irland – 18.3.1768 London), engl. Landpfarrer und Schriftsteller, veröffentlichte zunächst Predigten und Pamphlete. Nach der umgehend verbotenen kirchenpolit. Satire »A Political Romance« (1759) erschienen 1760 die ersten beiden Bände des Hauptwerks »Tristram Shandy« (Bd.3–9 erschienen 1761–1767). Die Subjektivität als dominante Erzählhaltung verzichtet auf chronologische oder kausale Stimmigkeit der Handlung, erhebt die Abschweifung zum Struk…