Between Dancing and WritingThe Practice of Religious Studies

Between Dancing and WritingThe Practice of Religious Studies

Kimerer L. LaMothe

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780823224036

Publisher: Fordham University Press


This book provides philosophical grounds for an emerging area of scholarship: the study of religion and dance. In the first part, the book investigates why scholars in religious studies have tended to overlook dance, or rhythmic bodily movement, in favor of textual expressions of religious life. In close readings of Descartes, Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Kierkegaard, the book traces this attitude to formative moments of the field in which philosophers relied upon the practice of writing to mediate between the study of “religion”, on the one hand, and “theology”, on the other. In the second part, the book revives the work of theologian, phenomenologist, and historian of religion Gerardus van der Leeuw for help in interpreting how dancing can serve as a medium of religious experience and expression. In so doing, it opens new perspectives on the role of bodily being in religious life, and on the place of theology in the study of religion.