Dance in the Early Church : sources and restrictions

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Understanding the role of dance in the Western Christian tradition is an underexplored territory. Sources of historical investigations are few and many of them are problematic. In this article commonly used sources are questioned and a re-examination of earlier research is begun. Focusing on the Early Church in dialogue with writing from the patristic period, a new interpretation is done around the theme of dance prohib-ition. The important contributions of Donatella Tronca as well as Graham Pont and Alessandro Alcangeli to the understanding of dance in the Early Church period are expanded by means of a more extensive theological framework. This article also aims at bringing a broader philosophical and societal understanding of the worldview and social imaginary of the Early Church period to bear on earlier research studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55–66
JournalApproaching Religion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Dance
  • Early Christianity
  • Art History
  • Systematic Theology
  • church history


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