A friend recently criticized the popular use of dance imagery to describe the perichoretic life of the Trinity. I laughed and played along. I’ve been in churches that have tried to enact the perichoretic dance, and, trust me, it ain’t inspiring.

But then I want to say: Doesn’t that criticism assume that interpersonal relations, knowledge, and love are inherently un-dancelike?

But what if love, relationship, and love are a dance? What if dance is the shape of personal knowing? What if, as Esther Lightcap Meek says (Loving To Know, 351-2), knowing is “differentiated, covenanted, interpersonhood . . . artful and beautiful” like a dance? What if knowing requires a harmony of “mutual trust and individual particularity” - like dance?

If we say that, then to say that the life of the Trinity is a life of exhaustive interpersonal knowledge and infinite mutual love is just to say that the life of the Trinity is like a dance.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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