The Circle Dance of the Cross in the Acts of John: an Early

  • CHRISTIAN RITUAL, Melody Gabrielle Beard-Shouse, Gabrielle Beard-Shouse
  • Published 2010


This study will discuss the original form, function, and meaning of the circle dance of the cross found in the Acts of John and determine whether it represents an early Christian ritual practice. This study will assess the evidence concerning the circle dance ritual within the Acts of John. Furthermore, a comparative examination of other relevant sources will shed further light on the circle in the Acts of John. This paper will offer a hypothetical reconstruction of the circle dance ritual. Ultimately this study will show that the early Christian ritual recorded in the Acts of John was in fact an actual ritual and is representative of early Christian plurality. Furthermore, it will illustrate that the ritual draws heavily on Greek philosophical understandings of circle dances representing order and disorder. The study will conclude that this ritual was ecstatic in character, and that it was individually transformative.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{RITUAL2010TheCD, title={The Circle Dance of the Cross in the Acts of John: an Early}, author={CHRISTIAN RITUAL and Melody Gabrielle Beard-Shouse and Gabrielle Beard-Shouse}, year={2010} }