Praise Him with the Dance: Incarnation, Creation, and the Sacred Art of Movement




Franklin, Mariah

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The art of dance is central to many cultures and religions worldwide, but has sometimes been neglected by the Christian community – especially in its discussion of theology and the arts. Though there is clear biblical, historical, and literary precedent for dance as a form of Christian worship and celebration, the beauty of this art has often been obscured by stigmas against embodiment itself. However, for Christians, who profess a theology of the Word made flesh, this embodied art has great potential for experiencing and communicating spiritual truths. In my thesis, I explore subjects including the significance of dance in Western Christian culture, the value of art as a spiritual language, and dance as a form of communion with God and with others. My research incorporates scholarship on theology and the arts and builds on the work of scholars, artists, and organizations that pursue excellence in the arts, advocating for dance as a sacred art. Through this project, I hope to reconnect Christians to an ancient but often forgotten tradition, inspiring a new awareness of the movement of the Spirit and the value of integrating dance in the life of the church.



Dance., Christian Theology., Theology and the Arts., Liturgical dance., Sacred dance., Christian Art.