Kathryn DickasonNov 25, 2022
Ringleaders of Redemption
How Medieval Dance Became Sacred
Oxford University Press 2021
In popular thought, Christianity is often figured as being opposed to dance. Conventional scholarship traces this controversy back to the Middle Ages. Historical sources, however, suggest that medieval dance was a complex and ambivalent phenomenon. During the High and Late Middle Ages, Western theologians, liturgists, and mystics not only tolerated dance; they transformed it into a dynamic component of religious thought and practice. In Ringleaders of Redemption: How Medieval Dance Became Sacred (Oxford UP, 2021), Kathryn Dickason reveals a long tradition of sacred dance in Christianity, one that the professionalization and secularization of Renaissance dance obscured, and one that the Reformation silenced and suppressed.
Your host, Ryan Shelton (@_ryanshelton) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.