Knowing God, Showing Them: Trigger-Scriptting as a Prompt of Intrafaith Dialogue on Personal Religiosity and Orthodoxy
This project uses a creative text to prompt dialogue concerning the diverse expressions of religiosity observed among evangelical Christians today and the conformity of these expressions to what is generally considered orthodoxy within the evangelical community. Trigger scripting, "the use of carefully selected scripts of literature intended to...trigger planned-for responses from specialized audiences," serves as the project's methodological basis (Valentine, p. 7). The operative script, Abide, is comprised of the plot points of a feature-length film story and the first act of the narrative in screenplay format. Characters, themes, and dramatic situations are constructed such that they reflect the characteristics of contemporary evangelicalism. Additionally, the story structure is loosely adapted from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Stripped of its explicit theological thesis in order to allow the audience opportunity for interpretation interaction, this allegory as it is thus adapted mainly functions as a model for presenting religious subject matter in a didactic manner (Valentine). Research in performance studies has shown that the performance of guided texts can create opportunities for learning, and even attitude change, among specialized audiences (Rassulo and Hecht). In that vein, this project is intended to encourage evangelicals to assess the effects of their religious practice.