Date of Award

Spring 2020

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Master of Arts



School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Matthew R. Petrusek


Dance is the language of the soul. Dance, as a theological source, can remind us of who we are in and with the living perichoresis of the Trinity. Dance, as embodied art, can provide us with a new way of viewing and discussing pneumatology and that we too, in our incarnate reality, participate in perichoresis. Within this work I seek to answer the questions of how dance is a source of theology, why a pneumatology of the body is significant, and how dance provides a framework for a pneumatology of the body. The creation of a pneumatology of the body is a rooting or re-membering of the Spirit and our own spirit in incarnational—skin and bones—reality that includes us in Trinitarian perichoresis. Pneumatology of the body is dancing with the Holy Spirit in our given time and space to retrieve the dignity of our embodied inspirited selves as made in the imago Dei. The gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit are not abstract concepts. Through dance as embodied art we can move from abstract, intellectual concepts of the Spirit to incarnational truth of our flesh and blood, wounds and joys, where the Trinity dwells within and around.

Dance as a source of theology can provide a framework for a pneumtology of the body. The Holy Spirit as relationality holding all of life together is our Holy Bridge. Within this work, we re-member our foundational belief in the interconnectedness of body and soul, and that we too participate in the Trinitarian perichoresis as part of God’s dancing revelation. In a world of division and duality, the Spirit as Holy Bridge brings us back home to the core of who we are individually and collectively, while dance provides a space for honoring difference and duality together in harmony. Dance gives expression to situations and things in our lives that are challenging to grasp conceptually and intellectually, while allowing for the embodied witnessing of a person’s and community’s story.

A dancing theology as a framework for a pneumatology of the body reminds us that Spirit is our Holy Bridge between body, senses, feelings, challenges, and transformations, between my body soul temple and your body soul temple, and between individual and communal. By dancing with us in our daily lives, the Holy Spirit draws us ever deeper across loving bridges into communion with Trinitarian perichoresis. The Trinity is the Dance of Life in which the Spirit performs the role of empowering the never-ending communion and relational vitality that is God in and with Godself.