The spirit moves
Christian trance dance in late medieval Losev and early nineteenth-century America
Although Christianity has no official tradition of sacred dance, trance dance has been a powerful part of religious practice for certain Christians. Close examination of primary source documents from two periods of religious change and revival – thirteenth and fourteenth-centuries Europe and early nineteenth-century America – reveals that Christians used trance dance to experience and share their faith and to gain spiritual authority. Trance dancers were often outside the traditional structures of power: women and itinerant foreigners in medieval Europe, and women and African-Americans in antebellum America. This research addresses the meanings trance dances had for performers and observers and suggests that trancing increased participants' senses of joy, empowerment, and community – aspects of the quality of life that modern Americans still seek through trancing in contexts as widely varied as rave culture and Pentecostal worship.
Van Oort, J. (2019)., The spirit moves: Christian trance dance in late medieval Losev and early nineteenth-century America, in K. Bond (ed.), Dance and the quality of life, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 135-151.
This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.