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Honoring the Body: Meditations on a Christian Practice

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"Here is a book we have needed for a long time, a book that will help Christians— who affirm that 'the Word became flesh'— overcome their baffling historic aversion to the body and learn to honor it. Stephanie Paulsell is a wise and compassionate guide, and she has given us the most compelling treatment of this topic I've ever read. May her insights be received, and embodi "Here is a book we have needed for a long time, a book that will help Christians— who affirm that 'the Word became flesh'— overcome their baffling historic aversion to the body and learn to honor it. Stephanie Paulsell is a wise and compassionate guide, and she has given us the most compelling treatment of this topic I've ever read. May her insights be received, and embodied, by many." — Parker Palmer, author, Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach "Honoring the Body is an elegantly written book. It is filled with wisdom, insight from the Christian tradition, and incisive analysis of a crucial yet vexing practice of Christian life. It also is eminently practical, a call to transformed thinking and living. I heartily commend it." — L. Gregory Jones, author, Embodying Forgiveness, and dean of Duke Divinity School "As I read through Paulsell's book, I found myself laughing one moment and crying the next, and what's even more amazing, throughout it all, I found myself thinking, thinking deeply and in new ways about not only great 'theological truths' but about little things like how I bathe, why I run, and who set the dinner table. A remarkable and rare book." — Serene Jones, author, Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace, and associate professor of theology at Yale Divinity School "A profound, passionate, and exquisitely 'simple' Christian meditation on the messy and beautiful facts of embodied human life." — Kathryn E. Tanner, author, Theories of Culture, The Politics of God, and God and Creation in Christian Theology, and professor of theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School


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"Here is a book we have needed for a long time, a book that will help Christians— who affirm that 'the Word became flesh'— overcome their baffling historic aversion to the body and learn to honor it. Stephanie Paulsell is a wise and compassionate guide, and she has given us the most compelling treatment of this topic I've ever read. May her insights be received, and embodi "Here is a book we have needed for a long time, a book that will help Christians— who affirm that 'the Word became flesh'— overcome their baffling historic aversion to the body and learn to honor it. Stephanie Paulsell is a wise and compassionate guide, and she has given us the most compelling treatment of this topic I've ever read. May her insights be received, and embodied, by many." — Parker Palmer, author, Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach "Honoring the Body is an elegantly written book. It is filled with wisdom, insight from the Christian tradition, and incisive analysis of a crucial yet vexing practice of Christian life. It also is eminently practical, a call to transformed thinking and living. I heartily commend it." — L. Gregory Jones, author, Embodying Forgiveness, and dean of Duke Divinity School "As I read through Paulsell's book, I found myself laughing one moment and crying the next, and what's even more amazing, throughout it all, I found myself thinking, thinking deeply and in new ways about not only great 'theological truths' but about little things like how I bathe, why I run, and who set the dinner table. A remarkable and rare book." — Serene Jones, author, Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace, and associate professor of theology at Yale Divinity School "A profound, passionate, and exquisitely 'simple' Christian meditation on the messy and beautiful facts of embodied human life." — Kathryn E. Tanner, author, Theories of Culture, The Politics of God, and God and Creation in Christian Theology, and professor of theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School

30 review for Honoring the Body: Meditations on a Christian Practice

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    It is, yet again, January. That month where many of us vow, resolve, promise, think about, or set as our goal; getting in shape. Some of us succeed and some of us fail. This year I decided that what I needed was more than just determination or hype from all those folks wanting to sell me diet solutions, gym memberships, etc. and find a basis for why taking care of me was important. Honoring the Body has given me the answer. . . or at least part of it. There is the Christian history and theology It is, yet again, January. That month where many of us vow, resolve, promise, think about, or set as our goal; getting in shape. Some of us succeed and some of us fail. This year I decided that what I needed was more than just determination or hype from all those folks wanting to sell me diet solutions, gym memberships, etc. and find a basis for why taking care of me was important. Honoring the Body has given me the answer. . . or at least part of it. There is the Christian history and theology of being created good and for purpose, but there is also the truth that without our bodies we are not. There is the idea that if we choose service to our neighbor and to God, without our bodies in good health and good strength, we cannot. I am clear that this book is going to appeal to Christians more than other faiths or those without a faith tradition, but it is worth the read for all. Many, many good nugets of information, hope and encouragement lay within the covers. One of many quotes that stood out for me is; "If we are not exerting our bodies in the dignity of work, we will have to find dignity in exerting our bodies in order to honor and care for them and strengthen them to care for others." Having been one of my mother's caregivers, I understand this completely. I needed to have a strong body to move her and to be available on a moments notice. This idea keeps my endeavors at good health and body from becoming just a "me" project. This book is worth the time. Enjoy!

  2. 5 out of 5

    James

    Paulsell does an adequate job of talking about how our bodies are important in Christian spirituality. This book is really one extended reflection on our embodiment. Worth a read, though I think there is much which she doesn't address (i.e. she seems to celebrate the unity of soul and body and the gift of embodiment, but she doesn't go very far in suggesting how our bodies are used by God and us to make us holy). Perhaps there is inevitability in this regarding the subject matter, but this anthr Paulsell does an adequate job of talking about how our bodies are important in Christian spirituality. This book is really one extended reflection on our embodiment. Worth a read, though I think there is much which she doesn't address (i.e. she seems to celebrate the unity of soul and body and the gift of embodiment, but she doesn't go very far in suggesting how our bodies are used by God and us to make us holy). Perhaps there is inevitability in this regarding the subject matter, but this anthropocentric spirituality (vs. theocentric).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    What I appreciate most about this book is the author's resistance to wrapping theology up in tight, tidy bows. This is not a book of answers, but of questions and possibilities. The body, its inherent worth and its inextricable relationship with the spirit is viewed and valued as the mystery it is. Paulsell offers thoughtful, reverent viewpoints on eating, wearing clothing, sexuality, suffering, rest + movement, and bathing. She takes care to connect these facets of life with a deeper meaning of What I appreciate most about this book is the author's resistance to wrapping theology up in tight, tidy bows. This is not a book of answers, but of questions and possibilities. The body, its inherent worth and its inextricable relationship with the spirit is viewed and valued as the mystery it is. Paulsell offers thoughtful, reverent viewpoints on eating, wearing clothing, sexuality, suffering, rest + movement, and bathing. She takes care to connect these facets of life with a deeper meaning of slowing down and seeing them as acts of dignity and relationship with people and Creator. I hope to refer to this brief volume often as I parent, build friendships, and perhaps care for aging parents.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia Jeronimo

    What a lovely book. Easy to read, the author takes you along as if you are on an adventure of attentiveness - how we meet the world through our bodies and connect that to our souls. We don’t have a soul and a body. We are both soul and body. We are embodied souls. Loved her chapter on baptism and cleanliness, as well as on communion and family dinners.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    one of my favorites this year - exploring what it means to live in the tension of "having a body" and "being a body." thought-provoking... one of my favorites this year - exploring what it means to live in the tension of "having a body" and "being a body." thought-provoking...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy Davis

    Finally something about this topic that is very readable-a theology of the body. Overall wonderful!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelin

    Interesting, kind of hippy-like. Would have liked more study in the relation to Jesus' life. Interesting, kind of hippy-like. Would have liked more study in the relation to Jesus' life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caelyn

  9. 4 out of 5

    Misty Miller

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jaeymes Chil

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ariane Szynkarek

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mulberry

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Vanbeek

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Dellinger

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paige Hester

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Massey

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rhea

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jody Pontius

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Shannon

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Wesner

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lotte

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