Religion: The Wakefield Mysteries

For the first time in 385 years, God was in his heaven last week in an English playhouse. Golden-crowned and brown-bearded, he looked down upon the stage of London's Mermaid Theatre from a cushioned wooden throne, surrounded by angels with blond wigs and paper wings. The occasion was the first performance of the Wakefield Mystery Plays—one of the treasures of medieval Christianity—since they were banned in 1576.

Life Was a Unity. In that year, when Shakespeare and Marlowe were twelve, and the Church of England was in its infancy, the townsfolk of Wakefield in Yorkshire were told that their annual Whitsun-week...

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