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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

May 2004 Intensive
May 2-7 2004 Wash. DC

Art as Meditation: Dancing the Sacred Texts -
# 61020B

Instructor: Michael Mansfield, D.Min.

Faculty Bio: Michael Mansfield has been teaching dance, ritual, theater, spirituality, and justice-making for 23 years. His interest is in the intersection of education, worship, and performance. He has taught at graduate theological schools in the Bay Area for the last 17 years. He continues to teach dance and theater to grade schools, high schools, and colleges, as well as working as an administrator at the University of California at Berkeley in the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Department. He preaches, teaches, and speaks nationally on the importance of bringing forward the wisdom of our bodies through the arts, faith, and justice. He has been on the faculty at UCS since 1994. He has a kinesthetic bias.

Course Description: "Mining" the treasures trapped in books can be tedious and isolating. Allowing words to take on flesh in community can make the quest for deeper understanding and richer spirituality a far more accessible, fun, engaging, and shared process. Together we will unearth and breathe life into the sacred texts needed for our times, drawing from our many wisdom traditions. By giving the page a stage, we enter the form and content of the text and meet the grace and revelation of the written word with unprecedented speed. We will seek to make the texts truly "mine," yours, and ours - body and soul.

Learning Objectives:

  • Enter spiritual traditions and sacred texts through dance
  • Deepen your lifeskill of improvisation as spiritual practice
  • Learn dance/choreographic techniques
  • Develop personal and communal movement vocabularies to help create ease in ritual storytelling, ritual theater, and ritual dance
  • Begin to dance the sacred text of your own life
  • Monday

    Jewish Texts and Women's Wisdom


    Christian Texts and Youth Wisdom


    Islamic Texts and Indigenous Wisdom (Native American, Aboriginal, African)


    Buddhist/Confucian Texts and Artist Wisdom (Poets, Activists, Justice-Makers)


    Taoist/Hindu Texts and Queer Wisdom

    Open to all human beings.
    No previous dance experience necessary.
    Dress comfortably for movement.

    Reference Sources:

    The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
    Sweat Your Prayers: Movement as Spiritual Practice - Gabrielle Roth
    One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths - Matthew Fox
    The Torah
    The New Testament
    The Koran
    The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path
    I Ching and The Path of Man
    Tao Te Ching
    The Bhagavad-Gita

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