The Great Victorian Sacrilege

Preachers, Politics and The Passion, 1879–1884


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SKU: 9780786473878 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

What happens when freedom of artistic expression offends freedom of religion? A great controversy arose when America’s first professional Passion play, staged in San Francisco in 1879, was pronounced a “sacrilege” by Protestant ministers (Salmi Morse’s play, The Passion, was in reality a pious description of the Gospel story). This work shows that Morse and his play were victims of the Protestant church’s struggle to maintain power during the late 1800s, a time when America was changing into a more urban nation. This saga of a society’s attempt to control “immoral”art by government intervention is also a disconcerting look at how easily artistic freedom can be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

About the Author(s)

Alan Nielsen is a professor emeritus in theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas and an award-winning composer and lyricist as well as playwright and director.

Bibliographic Details

Alan Nielsen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1991]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7387-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“extensively researched…recommended”—Choice; “fascinating”—Church & State.