The article describes the relation between humour and religion, using Polish Passion plays as an illustration. The authoress focuses on jokes present in narrations about Easter plays. Although humour is not part of Easter play scenarios, it is a permanent feature of narrations about Passion plays. However, jokes are not about things divine, the holy story depicted in the play, but about the imperfections of people or animals and accidents happening during the plays. An anecdote is a kind of a bridge linking the unattainable divine ideal with human competencies. It bridges the gap between perfection and imperfection; it helps to tackle the difficult task of staging an evangelical story. Laughter helps both the actors and play organisers to carry the burden. At the same time, it is a way to ease the tension, which is present during the active involvement in the Passion plays. Amusing narrations about Passion plays also show the complex attitudes of people to such plays. It is mainly people involved in the preparations of the plays who tell anecdotes. While joking about the Passion play, they express their perception of the gap between the divine ideal and the human performance.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.