Understanding Religion and Dance

Kimerer L. LaMothe

in Between Dancing and Writing

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780823224036
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236916 | DOI:
Understanding Religion and               Dance

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This chapter examines the renderings of religion and dance which van der Leeuw generates through his own practice of understanding. From his perspective, phenomena that appear as “religion” appear as expressions of “power” or “holiness”, while phenomena that appear as “dance” appear as impressions and expressions of “beauty” through movement. With these perceptions, van der Leeuw sets the stage for identifying coincidences of religion and dance in the historical record as conveyed by historians of religion and evaluated by theologians. It asks under what conditions does a phenomenon conduct at once an experience recognized as both “dance” and “religion”.

Keywords: religion; dance; van der Leeuw; historian; theologian

Chapter.  6460 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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