Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-7472-2 • Hardback • August 2012 • $115.00 • (£88.00)
978-0-7391-7473-9 • Paperback • August 2012 • $50.99 • (£39.00)
978-0-7391-7474-6 • eBook • August 2012 • $48.50 • (£37.00)
Sam Gill is professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Chapter 1: Moving
Chapter 2: Gesturing
Chapter 3: Self-Othering
Chapter 4: Playing
chapter 5: Seducing
Chapter 6: Dancing
In close personal touch with his subject, Sam Gill takes the reader on a global journey through dance and religion guided by philosophy, ethnology, and intuition. His book reveals how the body has its own truth that cannot be read or spoken, only danced.
— Sondra Fraleigh, State University of New York, College at Brockport
It is gratifying to see a senior scholar of religion write with such energy and enthusiasm for the philosophical and cultural significance of dancing. Gill’s movement-based, ontogenetic 'conversion' to dance provides a tantalizing, playful glimpse of a vibrant theoretical niche that the art-form might eventually come to fill within the field of religious studies.
— Sally Ann Ness, University of California, Riverside
Sam Gill leads us in a playful and provocative dance, weaving gracefully between the oft-estranged partners of Western “mind” and “body” to draw out tantalizing, seductive glimpses of person moving, engaging—dancing—with the world. Dancing Culture Religion is a work long overdue that promises to move discussion in our field in new and exciting directions.
— Nikki Bado, Iowa State University
Pairing his experience of dance traditions from around the world with his readings of select philosophical texts, Gill sets in motion a provocative whirl of ideas that demonstrates what the early American modern dancers also knew: the practice of dancing proves a potent catalyst for thinking about religion.
— Kimerer L. LaMothe, author of Why We Dance: A Philosophy of Bodily Becoming and What a Body Knows: Finding Wisdom in Desire
Perhaps best known as a scholar of Native American religions, Gill (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) expands his investigations of rituals and myths to include dancing and its significance for religious studies. His research travels have taken him to a wider world from Bali to Mali and beyond. In his new book, filled with philosophical and phenomenological insights, Gill engages his readers both experientially and in the experience(s) of dancing. He emphasizes activity over spectatorship by using the term dancing instead of dance in his title and from page one throughout all six chapters. He expands the boundaries of ritual study from body and gestures to include movement, rhythm, and the dance-induced experience of trance. The innovative style of his text is balanced by scholarly acumen; however, like others who span the great divide between the intellectual and the experiential dimensions of religion, he offers a selective bibliography. Gill's work suggests an exciting new methodology. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above
— Choice Reviews
[T]he appearance of religious studies scholar Sam Gill’s new book, Dancing Culture Religion, comes as one of the first serious attempts to incorporate dance research into the study of religion and to incorporate the use of dance and movement research in the study of human behavior. . . .The importance of this book for dance scholars is that it engages with dance from outside the field, and Gill amply demonstrates this with his engagement with his own field of religion and the multiple ways in which dance intersects with religious practices, even embodying them.
— Asian Ethnology
Gill’s text is a thoughtful and thought-provoking study of the dancing of dance. The text in eminently readable with each chapter opening and closing with mini-case studies linked to the subject of the chapter. These case-studies act to provide examples for Gill’s arguments as well as strengthening them. Equally, the author is very present in the text, drawing on his previous ethnographic work, his years of dancing and teaching dance, which makes for a very enjoyable read.
— Journal of the American Academy of Religion
In Dancing, Culture, Religion , Sam Gill weaves together ethnographic and historical accounts, personal experience and theoretical discussions of dance traditions in order to develop and articulate an approach to the comparative study of dance that has substantial implications for not only dance theorists and dancers, but also scholars of religion and culture, philosophy and the humanities more broadly.
— Dance, Movement & Spiritualities
[T]his welcome and stimulating volume. . . .is tightly packed with both descriptive and theoretical material and incisive insights. . . .The book is equally useful as a handbook and a monograph. I have gone back and read several sections repeatedly.
— Numen: International Review for the History of Religions