Dance in Scripture: A New Book about Sacred Dance Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber
After publishing two books addressing sacred dance, Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber is excited to announce the publication of her third book, Dance in Scripture: How Biblical Dancers Can Revolutionize Worship Today. Dance in Scripture examines the dances of seven biblical figures: Miriam, Jephthah’s daughter, David, the Shulamite, Judith, Salome, and Jesus. Each figure offers a virtue that has the potential to revolutionize worship today. The book combines feminist and queer hermeneutics with dance history to highlight the nuances of the texts that often go unnoticed in biblical scholarship, while also celebrating the creative, empowering, and subversive ways in which the body can be affirmed in worship. Liberation, lamentation, abandon, passion, subversion, innocence, and community each contribute to exciting ways embodied worship can be revolutionized.
Dr. Nancy deClaisse-Walford, professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages at McAfee School of Theology, endorses the book by saying, “Angela Yarber has, for over a decade, studied the intersections of dance and worship by women in the Hebrew Bible. She thoughtfully and insightfully searches out the meanings and nuances of Hebrew words used to narrate acts of worshipful dance and demonstrates that worship in the Hebrew Bible was active and embodied.” Similarly, Dr. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, professor at Georgetown University, endorses Dance in Scripture with these words: “In this ground-breaking text, Angela Yarber connects seven of the central but oft-overlooked biblical narratives about dance with both the questions of gender and gender identity with dance history. The human body is ever at the forefront in her work as the site of gender, personhood, and presence, yet always as revelatory of the meaning of the incarnation. Intermingling her scholarly studies with her pastoral acumen, she offers more than a “feminist theories twist” to these biblical narratives by offering a practical and pragmatic guide for contemporary liturgy and for engaging her congregations in the depths of meaning in the Bible.”
Dance in Scripture is available in paperback and as an e-reader through Wipf and Stock Publishers and on Amazon. Yarber’s first book, Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions, examines the role of the sacred in Hinduism’s Bharatanatyam, the intermingling of Buddhism and Confucianism in the kabuki onnagata, Islam’s whirling dervishes, and Judaism’s Israeli folk dance. Her second book, The Gendered Pulpit: Sex. Body, and Desire in Preaching and Worship also dedicates one chapter to the role of dance in Christian worship.
Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber has a PhD in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union at UC Berkeley and is author of Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions, The Gendered Pulpit: Sex, Body, and Desire in Preaching and Worship and Dance in Scripture: How Biblical Dancers can Revolutionize Worship Today. She has been a clergywoman and professional dancer and artist since 1999. For more on her research, ministry, dance, or to purchase one of her icons, visit: www.angelayarber.com