Platonic Moralism In Theatre

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Theatre, Christianity and Platonic Moralism

“Plato, the moralist was concerned with the importance of art to culture, making it a means to another end” (Carlson, 236).
Plato’s philosophy of theatre promotes a Christian worldview due to its acknowledgment of the corrupt nature of imitation in lauding immorality in performance art. Plato presents the brilliant argument that theatre is only useful when actors and audiences thoughtfully engage in storytelling that celebrates morality and right living. Instead of trading our values for the purpose of art, Plato proposes that art serve as a tool for promoting morality instead of becoming a means to itself.

In The Republic, Plato asserts that “art imitates the objects and events of ordinary life.
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The Pauline epistles recorded in the New Testament serve to instruct Christians how to maintain morality in the midst of perverted culture. He implores the church in Philippi to only think about true, noble, right, pure, lovely, w admirable, excellent or and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8, NIV), warns the churches of Galatia to avoid the obvious acts of the flesh (sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like) so that they can inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21, NIV), and instructs Timothy to “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace [...]” (2 Timothy 2:22, NLT). Moreover, Paul deals with the concepts of imitation and suggests, similar to Plato, that only moral character is worthy of imitation. He provides this appeal: “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2,…show more content…
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