Nativity of Jesus in later culture

Nativity of Jesus in later culture

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This article deals with depictions of the Nativity of Jesus
Nativity of Jesus
The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

 outside the fields of the figurative arts. For depictions in the fields of painting and sculpture, see Nativity of Jesus in art
Nativity of Jesus in art
The Nativity of Jesus has been a major subject of Christian art since the 4th century. The artistic depictions of the Nativity or birth of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas, are based on the narratives in the Bible, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and further elaborated by written, oral and...



  • The Nativity appears in many cycles of the Mystery Plays.
  • Laurence Housman
    Laurence Housman
    Laurence Housman was an English playwright, writer and illustrator.-Early life:Laurence Housman was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, one of seven children who included the poet A. E. Housman and writer Clemence Housman. In 1871 his mother died, and his father remarried, to a cousin...

     (Bethlehem, 1902; musical accompaniment by Joseph Moorat c.1919).
  • Lucjan Rydel
    Lucjan Rydel
    Lucjan Rydel a.k.a. Lucjan Antoni Feliks Rydel , was a Polish playwright and poet from the Young Poland movement.-Life:...

     (Polish Bethlehem, 1904).
  • Cicely Hamilton
    Cicely Hamilton
    Cicely Mary Hamilton , born Hammill, was an English actress, writer, journalist, suffragist, lesbian and feminist. She is now best known for the play Diana of Dobson's, with a setting in an Edwardian department store....

     (The Child in Flanders: A Nativity Play, 1922.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers
    Dorothy L. Sayers
    Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and Christian humanist. She was also a student of classical and modern languages...

     (He That Should Come, 1938). The first play of her radio-play cycle The Man Born to be King
    The Man Born to be King
    The Man Born to Be King is a radio drama based on the life of Jesus, produced and broadcast by the BBC during the Second World War. It is a play cycle consisting of twelve plays depicting specific periods in Jesus' life, from the events surrounding his birth to his death and resurrection...

     deals with the birth of Jesus.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

    's first play was Bariona ou le fils du tonerre, a nativity play performed on Christmas Eve 1940 while a prisoner of war
    Prisoner of war
    A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

     in a German stalag
    In Germany, stalag was a term used for prisoner-of-war camps. Stalag is a contraction of "Stammlager", itself short for Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager.- Legal definitions :...

    . Sartre saw Christ as part of the Jewish Resistance
    Jewish-Roman wars
    The Jewish–Roman wars were a series of large-scale revolts by the Jews of Iudaea Province and Eastern Mediterranean against the Roman Empire. Some sources use the term to refer only to the First Jewish–Roman War and Bar Kokhba revolt...

     to the Roman Empire's occupation
    Iudaea Province
    Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

    , mirroring the French Resistance
    French Resistance
    The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

     of Nazi Germany's occupation.
  • Two From Galilee - A musical of Mary and Joseph leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ


  • Rutland Boughton
    Rutland Boughton
    Rutland Boughton was an English composer who became well known in the early 20th century as a composer of opera and choral music....

    , English composer and founder of the original Glastonbury Festival, wrote a very popular Nativity opera in 1915 called Bethlehem. In 1926, in sympathy with the General Strike
    General strike
    A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

     and the miners' lockout, he restaged it in London, in modern dress, with Jesus born in a miner's cottage and Herod as the top-hatted capitalist, flanked by soldiers and police.


  • Ben-Hur
    Ben-Hur (1959 film)
    Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay was written by Karl Tunberg, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry. The score was composed by...

     's prologue recounts the Nativity, and Balthasar
    Biblical Magi
    The Magi Greek: μάγοι, magoi), also referred to as the Wise Men, Kings, Astrologers, or Kings from the East, were a group of distinguished foreigners who were said to have visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh...

     (a major character) also recounts it in the third person later in the film (1959).
  • The Greatest Story Ever Told
    The Greatest Story Ever Told
    The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George Stevens and distributed by United Artists. It is a retelling of the story of Jesus Christ, from the Nativity through the Resurrection. This film is notable for its large ensemble cast and for being the last...

     (1965) begins with the Nativity.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian
    Monty Python's Life of Brian
    Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film written, directed and largely performed by the Monty Python comedy team...

     (1978) depicts the Magi arriving at the wrong stable and almost giving their gifts to the infant Brian, before realising their mistake and going next door to the stable where Jesus is.
  • The Nativity Story
    The Nativity Story
    The Nativity Story is a 2006 drama film based on the nativity of Jesus starring Keisha Castle-Hughes and Shohreh Aghdashloo. Filming began on May 1, 2006 in Matera, Italy and in Morocco. New Line Cinema released it on December 1, 2006 in the United States and one week later on December 8 in the...

  • Nativity
    Nativity (film)
    Nativity! is a British comedy directed by Debbie Isitt and released on 27 November 2009. The film stars Martin Freeman and Ashley Jensen. The film is written by its director, Debbie Isitt, but is also partially improvised....

     (BBC Films; distributed by E1) scheduled to be released in UK cinemas on 4 December 2009.


  • A scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was produced and directed by former Warner Bros. and UPA animator Bill Melendez, who also supplied the voice for the character of Snoopy...

     (1965) shows Linus recounting the Nativity Story as told in the Gospel of Luke
    Gospel of Luke
    The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

  • Jesus of Nazareth (1977) begins with the Nativity
  • The Nativity
    The Nativity (television film)
    The Nativity is a 98-minute long 1978 television film set around the Nativity of Jesus and based on the accounts in the canonical Gospels of Matthew and Luke, in the apocryphal gospels of Pseudo-Matthew and James, and in the Golden Legend. It was directed by Bernard L. Kowalski, written by Morton S...

  • An episode of the popular Christian
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     themed anime
    is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

     series Superbook
    Superbook, also known as , is an anime television series produced by Tatsunoko Productions in Japan in conjunction with the Christian Broadcasting Network in the United States....

     (1982) involves Chris, Joy, and Gizmo witnessing the Nativity
  • The Liverpool Nativity produced by BBC Three
    BBC Three
    BBC Three is a television network from the BBC broadcasting via digital cable, terrestrial, IPTV and satellite platforms. The channel's target audience includes those in the 16-34 year old age group, and has the purpose of providing "innovative" content to younger audiences, focusing on new talent...

     in 2007, featuring Liverpool
    Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

    's music