Women and a Spirituality of the Body
- Pub. Date
- Mar 2003
"A rich and thought-provoking treatment of the nature of women's physicality and value, bringing a woman-friendly perspective to traditional theological questions."--Naomi R. Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth
Botox. Plastic surgery. The Wonder Bra. Women sometimes go to desperate lengths to distort, mold, and fashion their bodies into that of the "ideal" woman. They live with the reality of the body, from its reproductive implications to pressures from the media to look a certain way. They are intimately connected to their bodies, despite the historical paradigm of a disconnected body and soul.
Lilian Barger notes that the splitting of soul vs. body is "part of our spiritual problem." So Eve's Revenge is written not to help women overcome their perceived shortcomings, but to provide an increased understanding of how woman's relationship with the body and its social meaning impacts spirituality. Barger investigates the tension women experience between their bodies and their desire for a spiritual life. She responds with the possibility of viewing women as something other than perennially split between body and soul. This paradigm, offered through the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, provides insight into how women ought to live in the world and very much in their own skin.
Women struggling with a body/soul tension and those interested in the social and spiritual meaning of the female body will find this book revealing and liberating.
"Eve's Revenge is not about feminism, sabotage, or anger. Rather, it's a book about women, women's bodies, and the healing gaze of God. It's a needed affirmation of what it means to be both human and female. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is searching for significance."--Sarah Sumner, Azusa Pacific University
"Barger has written a thoughtful book that seeks to reunite the body with the soul. She uncovers effects that years of distortion and sin have had on views of the female body, leaving women disconnected from an authentic understanding of themselves and the communities to which they belong. Her vision encourages us to live an embodied experience integrated with our spiritual lives."--Lisa Graham McMinn, author of Growing Strong Daughters
"Barger's culture-challenging analysis collides with the American obsession with the body, how it looks to us and to others, and emerges triumphant. She provides a profoundly honest evaluation not only of the misogyny of our culture but also the misogyny of the Church, and offers something much better--a Christian view of the body. Barger reminds us that the incarnation of Christ means that our bodies are valuable mirrors in which we are enabled to see the redemption of Christ."--Frank A. James III, Reformed Theological Seminary
"A rich and thought provoking treatment of the nature of women's physicality and value, bringing a woman-friendly perspective to traditional theological questions. We need more such dialogue between feminism and faith communities-the discussion enriches both."-Naomi R. Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth
"I love this book! Lilian Barger has gently informed her readers of so many profound truths that it will dare you to release your inner person and give you courage to be who you really are. With wisdom and intellectual savvy she addresses so many misconceptions that have deceived us far too long."-Paula Mann,President/CEO Sunbelt Telecommunications, Inc.
"Christian Church has a reputation (often well-deserved) for being anti-body, and anti-woman. Modern culture has its own bias against the body and women. In this fresh and unpredictable book, Lilian Calles Barger shows that the biblical narrative, when understood on its own terms, challenges this bias, whether the source is religious or secular. It also meets the deepest needs of contemporary women who are searching for a way to be whole--to integrate spiritual yearnings with the full range of bodily experience, including its power and its vulnerability."--Mardi Keyes, co-director of L'Abri Fellowship, Southborough, Massachusetts and author of Feminism & the Bible
"Right on, Lilian Barger! Eve's Revenge is a savvy survey of the 'lookism' that women struggle with in our youth-and-beauty crazed culture. She brings home that it is what's inside, not outside, that counts. It's a thought-provoking, healing message of faith."--Rena Pederson, Editor at Large of the Dallas Morning News, author of What's Next? and What's Missing?
"In Eve's Revenge, Lilian Barger takes a refreshingly forthright, brilliantly insightful, biblically faithful while culturally savvy look at the body's role in the search for a spiritual life. Barger encourages us to find healing for our fractured lives through a recovery of the body's true meaning, through a celebration of the communal nature of humankind, and, most importantly, through an embracing of a redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ."--Donna F.G. Hailson, Director, Doctor of Ministry in the Renewal of the Church for Mission and Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Renewal, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, PA
"In this highly stimulating new book, Barger skillfully takes possession of modern feminism and Christian teaching to show women how Jesus and the experience of redemption can include real modern women and their real bodies. Barger is president of the Damaris Project, and organization in Dallas, TX, that encourages women to explore Jesus' teachings in light of womens's history. Negotiating both Christianity and feminism is not always easy, but Barger's mind is razor sharp, and in her clear prose she capably sets forth her innovative, no-nonsense ideas about the condition of women and the potential of Christian belief. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
"Eve's Revenge is not your garden-variety Christian self-help book. The book fuses academic feminism and theological discussion--heavily peppered with personal anecdotes and examples of contemporary culture--to examine women's relationships with their bodies."--The Washington Times
"[An] enlightening book."--Christie Storm and Nancy Caver, Arkansas Democrat Gazette
"Barger gives us a thoughtful, grounded perspective on what it means to be human as well as woman. . . . In a wonderfully subtle affirmation of women's personhood, Barger moves freely from talking about women's bodies specifically to making applications for the common experience of both male and female."--Julia Bloom, Mutuality
"Eve's Revenge should absolutely be read by all women of faith, especially those seeking a Christian path, or who fled Christianity because of the way women are often treated. It should also be read by male ministers and other men in positions of power in the church, lest they fall prey to the harmful, alienating views Barger addresses and defeats. Any woman who has ever felt not at home in her own skin or in a supposed place of refuge and peace will love this book-a hearty shalom to Barger for bringing it to us."--Needcoffee.com
"Barger has written for the thinking non-Christian and Christian alike. This is not a self-help book presenting simple solutions to complex issues. Rather, in a style not unlike the author of Ecclesiastes, she addresses primary concerns of women, creatively addressing these issues from a biblical/theological perspective without sounding preachy or using worn, simplistic evangelical language. By moving beyond the triteness of so much evangelical jargon, Barger provides a modern model of what Paul did at the Areopagus. She has done her homework and understands the perspectives of our culture, affirming what is good and providing thoughtful biblical critique. She doesn't offer easy answers, but rather points to a significantly different (and biblical) way of viewing and living life."--Bob Burns, Critique
"Writing out of her experiences, [Barger] brings rich reflection on the particular struggle of the role of physicality and value, and how fractured conceptions of the body are creating troubling effects in our views of the self, spirituality, and community. . . . With her ability to maneuver smoothly from Madonna to Naomi Wolf, from atonement to menstruation, from Miroslav Volf to the Vagina Monologues, one easily becomes convinced that Lilian Calles Barger, although holding no academic post, serves as a wonderful example of a public intellectual seeking to make sense of her faith and her world. . . . We in the academy would do well to listen to this profound voice, for the stories and struggle contained in this volume speak with clarity and passion on a timely subject."--Kelly M. Kapic, Cultural Encounters
"As Western culture becomes increasingly captivated by unrealistic standards for that which makes women (and by extension men) worthy of full acceptance, Lillian Calles Barger presents a coherent, persuasive, and challenging alternative. . . . This is not a self-help book nor does it engage in 'male bashing.' Barger's goal is nothing short of contributing to a paradigm shift. She argues that one cannot dismiss or separate women's physicality from her spirituality and Barger seeks to reclaim the body as a central component in women's understaning of self, community, and spirituality. . . . Barger's writing style is clear and engaging. She weaves historical and contemporary examples into a tapestry that shows how the threads of antagonism toward the embodied life have been challenged by Jesus."--Journal of Psychology and Christianity