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Does John Henry Newman Have a Theo-Drama?



The essay surveys Newman's work in literary drama, from an early essay on Aristotle's Poetics to his adaptation of Roman comedies for production at the Oratory School, in order to approach his affinities with Hans Urs von Balthasar's theological dramatic theory. Newman does not find a Balthasarian theo-drama via literary drama – perhaps because he was not properly exposed to medieval religious drama – but scattered dramatic analogies in his history writing suggest that he undertakes a theo-drama in that genre. Von Balthasar and Newman employ dramatic analogies to reject chiliastic apocalyptic and foster ‘keromatic’ apocalyptic.