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Rituals of Movement
(591 words)

[German Version]

may be divided into three types: dance, procession, and perambulation. The central feature of dance is movement of the human body, whereby the body may function as a single whole, or, as in Africa, different parts of the body may execute quasi-autonomous movements. Dance may carry a wide variety of religious meanings; they range from entertaining the Egyptian goddess Hathor and bacchantic frenzy to inducing ecstasy, which may lead to possession by non-human beings. Dance that induces possession by the spirit of Christ seems to be acknowledged by Pau…

Cite this page
Lang, Bernhard, “Rituals of Movement”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 29 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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