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Good Is The Flesh: Body, Soul, And Christian Faith [Paperback]

By Jean Denton (Editor)
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Item description for Good Is The Flesh: Body, Soul, And Christian Faith by Jean Denton...

Overview
For Jesus of Nazareth, whose ministry reached out to the sick and the sick at heart, the human body was something to be honored and valued. But believers often looked on the body with distaste, feeling it impeded the soul's progress toward union with God. Today, though, theologians, health professionals, and ordinary people in the pews are taking a fresh look at the importance of the body in drawing the human person to God. Good Is the Flesh brings together essays written by important contemporary thinkers in this field, examining themes from "The Theological Roots of Health" to "Christian Spirituality and Illness."

Publishers Description
For Jesus of Nazareth, whose ministry reached out to the sick and the sick at heart, the human body was something to be honored and valued. But two thousand years of Christian history have told a different tale, as believers often looked on the body with distaste, feeling it impeded the soul's progress toward union with God. Today, though, theologians, health professionals, and ordinary people in the pews are taking a fresh look at the importance of the body in drawing the human person to God. Christians, going back to their roots in the ancient work of the Church, are listening to the gospel call to wholeness and applying it in a variety of ways, from caring for the needs of the elderly to helping HIV patients. Good Is the Flesh brings together essays written by important contemporary thinkers in this field, examining themes from "The Theological Roots of Health" to "Christian Spirituality and Illness." Contributors include theologians James B. Nelson and Elizabeth Moltmann-Wendel. Each section contains questions for reflection and study, making this an ideal book for parish study groups, parish ministry committees, and professional development programs for health ministry professionals.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Morehouse Publishing
Pages   161
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.53 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2005
Publisher   Morehouse Publishing
ISBN  0819221317  
ISBN13  9780819221315  


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More About Jean Denton


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jean Denton is executive director of the National Episcopal Health Ministry in Indianapolis.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Anglican


Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Diet & Health



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Reviews - What do customers think about Good Is The Flesh: Body, Soul, And Christian Faith?

Great Intro to Christian Health Ministry and Personal Spiritual and Physical Health  Aug 24, 2007
I read this so that I could conduct an interview with the editor, Jean Denton, for a national Episcopal Church periodical. I found it to be very interesting and eye-opening. I became much more aware of what was going on in my own body and spirit, and more attuned to physical and spiritual experience as a Christian. I found it to be smart and thought-provoking, providing a varied, yet balanced view of the history of "body" and "soul," and unifying the two through a frank discussion of their complementary functions. I found the intelligent discussions of Christ's take on health and healing very encouraging and refreshing. A book I am glad I read and can recommend with confidence.
 
Embodying theology  Apr 28, 2005
Truth in advertising being important, I must say at the outset that I know Jean Denton, the editor of this book. In fact, I've attended classes/seminars that she's led, and she's attended mine. When I learned about this book, I was very excited about reading it on that basis only, and was pleased to find my eagerness rewarded by interesting and engaging topics and writing.

Jean Denton has a combined vocation of ministry, being both an ordained minister and a registered nurse. She has for many years combined these in her work in health-related ministry and spirituality. This book is written specifically for people looking for deeper connections between contemporary expressions of Christianity (concentrating primarily upon, but not exclusively to the mainline denominations) and health-related issues, both with regard to the individual and the communal

Denton has drawn together contributions from theologians, pastors, and health-care professionals to discuss the topics from historical, theological and practical aspects. The first chapter looks at the roots of health-related ministries in the Hebrew scriptures, the New Testament and gospel witness, and in general theological/philosophical thinking over the course of Christian history. The second chapter explores basic issues of our comfort or discomfort with our bodies, and practical aspects of how we perceive ourselves and others as embodied beings.

The next pair of chapters look at Christian spirituality and well-being, and Christian spiritual and illness. We tend to think of health as a 'natural' state and illness as somehow defective or opposite, but what is health for? Denton speaks of Margaret Mohrmann's assertion that health is a subordinate good (not a good in and of itself) meant to enable us to carry out the 'obligation of joy.' With regard to illness, Denton does not tap into outmoded ideas of suffering (she plainly states that one can learn from suffering things one cannot learn from joy, but who wants this kind of teaching?), but does look for redemptive aspects and experiences that can come out of disability, illness and our experience both as the suffering and as ones being around those who suffer.

Just as this need not be a solely individual experience, so too are issues of health care not an individual or family-only issue. There are communal aspects of this that reach to national and international levels, particularly when one considers the high and rising costs of health care, the international nature of many communicable diseases, and other issues involved in the availability of adequate health care. The fifth chapter explores some of these issues, and the sixth chapter looks at parish-based health ministries as means to providing new means and insights into the way the health of the community, in the case of the church, the body of Christ, can be embodied intentionally.

Christianity has had a strange history in many regards, with a love-hate relationship with the material world (including our own bodies as material beings) but also proclaiming Jesus Christ as a physically embodied incarnation of God. The theological and practical aspects of this tension are brought forward in many ways throughout Denton's text, in creative and thoughtful ways. This is a spirit-filled book in many ways, drawing from texts old and new, personal experiences of the authors, and tapping into God's call to us.

Each chapter ends with a section of questions for both personal reflection, as well as group reflection, again looking at the individual and the communal.

This is a good book for groups and for solitary readers to explore in deeper ways the connections between the health of our spirit and the health of our bodies.

 

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