Tortured Wonders: Christian Spirituality for People, Not Angels

Overview

A 2004 Publishers Weekly Book of the Year; 2004 Quills Award Nominee

Tortured Wonders shows how orthodox Christian spirituality "never gives up on the body." Rodney Clapp begins by addressing the incarnation of Christ and the resurrection of the body, and the place of sacraments in Christian spirituality. Then he takes up the likes of Elvis and Bambi to explore the spiritual consequences of our contemporary obsession with celebrity and the fear of death. He calls us to embrace ...

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Overview

A 2004 Publishers Weekly Book of the Year; 2004 Quills Award Nominee

Tortured Wonders shows how orthodox Christian spirituality "never gives up on the body." Rodney Clapp begins by addressing the incarnation of Christ and the resurrection of the body, and the place of sacraments in Christian spirituality. Then he takes up the likes of Elvis and Bambi to explore the spiritual consequences of our contemporary obsession with celebrity and the fear of death. He calls us to embrace our creatureliness through a string of irresistible topics: Is there sex in heaven? What is the most "biblical" posture for prayer? Can we learn anything from non-Christian spiritual traditions?

Pastors, counselors, and anyone interested in Christian spirituality will appreciate this lucid and insightful book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Angels, in the Christian tradition, are disembodied spirits who directly behold the face of God. And we, Clapp insists, are not angels. So Christian spirituality will have to take full account of our bodies-their earthy constitution, their intense desires, their certain death and their promised resurrection. What follows from this premise is a poetic account of traditional spirituality, unapologetically borrowed from writers like the desert fathers, Augustine and Luther, but enlivened with elegant writing and alert to the needs and challenges of contemporary life. To readers who associate spirituality with gauzy inner states, Clapp's attention to everything from posture to excretion will be startling, but the reward is a book that manages to be both traditional and original. Clapp also revives the ancient sense of the "social body," especially as seen in the Christian church's communal feast, the Eucharist. With the same lan he demonstrated in his previous book, Border Crossings, Clapp probes popular culture and household life for clues to practicing the Christian faith. He writes of his dog Merle, "I have never yet seen him gaze into the sky. He would rather keep his nose to the ground, and in his demeanor he is a constant reminder that the dirt-not just the stars-is worth pondering and investigating." Such down-to-earth realism makes this a splendid introduction to Christian spirituality. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587431845
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2006
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Rodney Clapp is the author of Border Crossings: Christian Trespasses on Popular Culture and Public Affairs and has published more than one hundred magazine articles on church and culture. He is editorial director of Brazos Press and lives in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Classical Christian spirituality
Introduction : spirituality for tortured wonders 11
1 Affirming the flesh : Christian spirituality and the necessity of the body 25
2 Against imitating the angels : Christian spirituality and sex 49
3 Putting Adam back together again : Christian spirituality and the social body 71
4 Learning how to be spiritual with your body : Christian spirituality and the sacraments 91
5 How to see and lay hold of Christ : Christian spirituality and the Eucharist 105
6 The sacrifice of compassion : Christian spirituality and the benefits of the Eucharist 119
Pt. 2 Christian spirituality in the light (and darkness) of the 21st century
7 Sin and salvation at Graceland : the difficulties of Christian spirituality in Elvis world 137
8 The problem with Bambi : death and the beginning of Christian spirituality 157
9 Jesus and the grotesque : the earthiness of Christian spirituality 175
10 You wonder why we're all crazy : making a place for sex in Christian spirituality 197
11 Educating the flesh : bodily exercise and Christian spirituality 219
12 Saved from drowning : the generosity of Christian spirituality 233
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