Arts

Dance after the Church Fathers

Although church leaders accepted dance as a legitimate act of worship and celebration for centuries, by the time the Roman Empire fell in AD 476 it began to become less common. As the Roman Catholic liturgical Mass became prominent the clergy tended to be the focal...

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Reaction against dance in the Early Church

Although I have shown that dance was practiced in the early church, there was also a movement that sought to remove it; clearly it became controversial. Clement of Alexandria wrote: And your public assemblies I have come to hate. For there are excessive banqueting,...

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Dancing in the Early Church

The early church was Jewish in origin and would have incorporated dance circles as part of their celebration of Jesus as Messiah, particularly at the three great feasts (Pesach, Shavout and Sukkot). Evidence of circle dancing can be found in the early church as the...

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Dance in the New Testament

In the New Testament there are only five references to dancing, some of which are repeated in the Gospels. The father puts on a party with celebratory dancing because his prodigal son, whom he thought was lost, has returned (Luke 15:21-29). On Herod's birthday...

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The Jewish understanding of dance

The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible, and so we must turn to this in order to understand the role of dance in Jewish culture. There are twenty-two references to dance in the Old Testament, mostly in a positive way, but in a few cases in a negative way....

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Dance in the Church today

Branches of the Orthodox Church have retained the Jewish circle dance in Christian festivals and at weddings since the earliest times, and there has been a revival of dance in both the Messianic congregations of the Jewish Christians and in some charismatic churches...

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The history of dance in the Church

We are in a dance culture in the twenty-first century with shows like Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and Dancing on Ice regularly hitting the leading places for popular viewing. Dance in the Church as an act of worship has become controversial,...

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Theatre in Edinburgh

John Knox, in his book The Reformation in Scotland, wrote: A Black Friar [Dominican order], called Friar Kyllour, set forth the history of Christ's Passion in form of a Play, which he both preached and practised openly in Stirling, the King himself being present upon...

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Rise of Christian theatre in AD 925

From the time of the early church up until the tenth century theatre was rejected as worldly and pagan. After the fall of the Roman Empire theatre was eventually banned by the church. However, paganism began to dwindle so much that by the Middle Ages we see the rise...

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Confessions of a converted theatre-goer

Augustine, in his book, Confessions, shares with us his testimony of how he became a Christian. Apart from his previous life of paganism and womanising, he also reveals to us his feelings from the past when he used to regularly watch the theatre tragedies: I was much...

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The case of a converted actor

There is extant a letter of Bishop Cyprian to Euchratius in about AD 250, and it is all about a master actor who has been converted to Christ and who is asking whether it is alright to stop acting but still teach at a theatre school, as it is his only means of earning...

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