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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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A form of religious dancing sometimes made part of the public worship of the early Christians. The custom was borrowed from the Jews, in whose solemn processions choirs of young men and maidens, moving in time with solemn music, always bore a part. It must not be supposed that the "religious dances" had any similarity to modern amusements; they were rather processions in which all who took part marched in time with the hymns which they sung. The custom was very early laid aside, probably because it might have led to the adoption of such objectionable dances as were employed in honor of the pagan deities. Prohibitions of dancing, as an amusement, abound in the Church fathers and in the decrees of the councils. See Bingham, Orig. Eccl. bk. xvi, ch. xi, 15. On dancing as an amusement, see Crane, On Dancing, N. Y. 12mo.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Dancing'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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