Br. Steve DeMaio, SDB
March, 01 2019 - Israel Youth Hostel - Jerusalem On Friday March 1st the STS students, along with some faculty members, were joined by the Mundelein Seminarians from Chicago for the annual Cultural Day, which this year had as its theme “Theatre and Theology”. We had the opportunity to travel off campus to the Israel Youth Hostel Association in order to participate in a presentation of what is known as “Bibliodrama.” Bibliodrama is defined as an experience “combining a close reading of biblical texts with searching, imaginative questions which offers people of all ages and levels of knowledge an opportunity to experience a method of creative study that since 1984 has changed the way we read the Bible.” (www.bibliodrama.com) The day was animated by Mrs. Yael Valier, a local theatrical producer and actress, members of her family, and other actors.
The STS community, as well as the American seminarians, were invited to explore the story of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis by placing themselves in the middle of the drama as one of the characters. Mrs. Valier then led us to think more deeply, and perhaps in a different way than most of us were used to, in order to experience the biblical story in a more intimate way. Many of the students shared how it felt to be “in the shoes” of Joseph, his brothers, or even Jacob, the father. After a short break, Mrs. Valier and her team demonstrated various ways to “play back” the emotions and insights that we received after the close reading of the text. Many of us felt that the day was very helpful and that the methodology presented could be effective in teaching the Bible stories in a more appealing and interactive way, especially to the youth. For more information on the work that is being done by Mrs. Valier and her team you can visit www.theaterandtheology.com.
After our morning at the Youth Hostel, the STS and Mundelein communities gathered for a lunch at Ratisbonne Monastery. It was a great moment to meet new people and to have the chance to share our life experiences. All in all, the day was well received and gave us all a unique experience in reading the Bible.