Peter Berger takes the opposite view, arguing that while ―tragedy can never go beyond immanence, comedy is transcendent. In Christian eschatology, redemption appears after the terrors of the world as a form of comic relief and,
though heaven will be free from tragedy, man will remain funny for ever. Comedy therefore transcends
tragedy‘s sense of human courage with its own sense of wild, irrational hope. Similarly, Wood argues that Christian faith is comic because it is about eschatological laughter and joy and hope, grounded in the God who ―himself is the comedian who wants his audience to laugh- to rejoice in and thus to be transformed by the Good News. The Gospel itself is a comedy that proclaims the ultimate happy ending, namely, the guaranteed triumph of the kingdom of God. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we find the final and absolute reversal of human expectations and desert, through which the Gospel presents so comic a deliverance that the Christian simply cannot respond with ―humorless doubt.
Serious play, indeed.
This is helpful. From Jessica N. DeCou's paper here. (HT to Ben.)
The drawing was my attempt to play with a photo of Amedeo Modigliani that I like.