The Performing Word: Sayers’s Unorthodox Orthodoxy

  • Crystal Downing


When The Zeal of Thy House went on tour in 1938, Sayers became the focus of increased media attention. In response to one interview, she composed “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged,” which the Sunday Times published on April 3. As she told one correspondent, “That did it. Apparently the spectacle of a middle-aged female detective-novelist admitting publicly that the judicial murder of God might compete in interest with the Corpse in the Coal-Hole was the sensation for which the Christian world was waiting” (Ltrs 4. 139). The performance of Zeal, then, radically changed Sayers’ s life. Asked to write a second Canterbury work, The Devil to Pay, and a radio play about the birth of Jesus, He That Should Come (both published in 1939), she received an increasing number of invitations to speak and write on theological topics.


Christian Doctrine Writing Performance Intellectual Autonomy Radio Play Christian Story 
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© Crystal Downing 2004

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  • Crystal Downing

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