Body Symbolism in the Bible

Body Symbolism in the Bible


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Many people with illnesses seek healing in religions and practices that are only weakly inculturated among us. Our understanding and use of such foreign wisdom is often just as superficial; but it is easily understood against the background of a centuries-long Christian tradition of interpreting the Bible in a way hostile to the body, particularly the female body.

In Body Symbolism in the Bible, Schroer and Staubli offer a better understanding of this subject by exploring the symbolism of various body parts in the Bible. They reinterpret and thereby reclaim the notion of the body as a temple of God so that regard for the body can lead to respect for the human rights of women and men. Exploring the topic through the lenses of theological anthropology and biblical spirituality, their presentation will surely add clarity to our understanding and generate future discussion.

Richly illustrated in full color.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814659540
Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
Publication date: 09/28/2001
Edition description: Illustrated
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.37(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

I.Aspects of Theological Anthropology: From the Human Being to the Male and Female Body1
1."And God made humankind in the divine image." Human beings as images of God1
2."The human being has no advantage over the beast." The vulnerable creature4
3."Ecce homo." Philosophical and theological answers to the human question6
Jewish Teaching About Adam6
Christian Dialectic Between Adam and Christ7
Gnostic Speculations about Adam8
The Human in Islam: Between God and the Devil8
Triumph Over the Body in Western Philosophy9
The Star of Redemption in the Face of God9
The Truth in the Otherness of Others10
The Sacramentality of the Body11
Physical Community as Committed Church12
Women's Lives as the Measure of Liberation13
4."What is the human being ...?" In search of a body-oriented biblical anthropology14
Hans Walter Wolff's Old Testament Anthropology14
James Barr's Objections to a Biblical Anthropology16
Feminist Perspectives in Biblical Anthropology18
II.Aspects of Biblical Body Spirituality: From Sinful Flesh to the Temple of God22
1."This ... is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Aspective apprehension and description of the body22
2."Your eyes are like doves." Beauty as expressive rather than perfected form24
3."My body dwells securely." Physical prayers of physical people28
4."This is my body." The celebration of the body in the celebration of the bread29
5."And the Word was made flesh." God becomes a real body31
6."Speak but a word." Healing of body and spirit33
7."Faith, love, hope." Jesus' praxis of eyes, hands, and feet34
8."She has performed a good service for me." Bodily wellness and the erotic36
9."Glorify God in your body." The body as temple of the Holy Spirit38
1.An Understanding Heart41
Symbol of the Inner Person42
Heart and Heartlessness: Intelligence and Stupidity43
The Place of Spiritual Treasures and Secrets44
Human Conscience46
Heart and Hurt: A Contrast with the Western Tradition of the Heart49
2.From Throat to Soul56
The Breathing Throat: Crux of Life and Symbol of the Person56
The Desirous Throat: Driving Power and Spark of the Soul61
The Soul Amputated from the Body62
Rejoining What Has Been Severed66
3.God in the Belly68
The Entrails: Seismographs of Feeling68
The Womb: Compassionate Giver of Life71
God's Wombliness77
Despising the Menstruating Woman81
4."The Very Hairs of Your Head Are Numbered"83
The Head: Crown of the Human Person83
The Face: Focus of the Person85
Face to Face with God88
The Neck: Bastion of Pride91
The Nose: Wrath and Patience94
The Hair: Vitality and Eroticism96
5."They Have Eyes But Do Not See"103
Eyes and Gaze105
God Sees107
Faith Comes (Also) from Seeing110
Seeing and Hearing as Recognizing and Understanding113
The Evil Eye118
6."Let Anyone with Ears to Hear Listen!"122
"Hearing Is Useful to Those Who Can Hear"122
"Hear, O Israel!"126
God Hears129
Opening the Ears131
7."My Mouth Shall Declare Your Praise"134
Eating, Laughing, Kissing, Speaking134
Diplomatic and Wise Speech138
The Healing and Polluting Mouth139
The Speechless Mouth140
The Violent Mouth141
God's Mouth and Human Words143
The Mouth That Speaks Praise146
8."With a Mighty Hand and an Outstretched Arm"150
Gestures: The Language of the Hands150
Left and Right Hands158
Creative and Destructive, Powerful and Violent Hands161
Hand and Penis164
The Finger of God168
With a Mighty Hand and an Outstretched Arm171
The World-Creating and World-Sustaining Hands of God173
God's Hidden Hand176
9."You Have Placed Everything Under His Feet"181
Standing and Walking181
The Enemy Beneath One's Feet184
What Lies at People's Feet190
At the Feet of God191
Removing One's Shoes195
Washing Feet197
The Footsteps of Christ200
10."All Flesh Is Like Grass"203
Bones as Sober Evidence of Death203
Skin and Bones205
Flesh and Bone Related209
Signs of Mortality212
Rushing Wind as the Spirit of God214
The Evil Spirit216
Illustration Credits236
Index of Scripture241

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