Why a great mystery writer called Christianity “the greatest drama”

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Dorothy Sayers could be writing a manifesto for the New Evangelization, even though she wasn’t a Catholic.

She could be writing a manifesto for the New Evangelization, even though she wasn’t a Catholic. Dorothy Sayers basically said: Look, this stuff is amazing and even we Christians don’t see it. If we did see it, we could change the world. “Let us, in Heaven’s name,” she once wrote, “drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world.”

World - Author - Lord - Peter - Wimsey

The world knows her as the author of the 11 Lord Peter Wimsey mystery stories. She’s up there with G.K. Chesterton, Ronald Knox, and her friend C.S. Lewis. The Wimsey stories were the warm-up to her real life’s work, which included a number of theological books and essays, several religious plays, a BBC production of the life of Christ called The Man Born to Be King, and a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Born in 1893, she grew up the daughter of an Anglican minister, but doesn’t seem to have taken religion seriously till she got older. (Here’s a good short biography.) She remained a Protestant, and alas, never seems to have been interested in the Catholic Church.

Truths - Essays - Drama - Staged - Dogma

She makes us see the truths we think we see clearly but don’t always. I’ll quote from just two short essays she wrote in the 1940s: “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged” and “The Dogma Is the Drama.” You can find them in her small book Creed or Chaos?

In “Greatest Drama,” she notes that Christians believe Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Yes, of course, we will say. Everyone knows that.

Sayers - Reason - God

No, we don’t really, Sayers would say. Think what it means. It means “that for whatever reason God...
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