Good Is the Flesh

Body, Soul, and Christian Faith

Jean Denton

Mar/2005, 176 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819221315



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.

Jean Denton is executive director of the National Episcopal Health Ministries in Indianapolis.

"Good Is the Flesh is an exciting exploration of the central mystery of the church--the incarnation, God made flesh. When Christians confess the incarnation, that the infinite Spirit broke into time and space as Jesus, the Christ, making his body the means of our redemption and nourishing us with his spiritual body and blood, then the implications are staggering for the objective preciousness of our bodies. We are total body-spirit persons who live and move and have our being in and through the creative love of God. This book is fresh and poetic, scholarly and prophetic in challenging our docetic faith. Good is the flesh, indeed!" -The Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Bakken, physician and pastor, and author of The Journey Into God: Healing and Christian Faith
"In bringing together these exquisite essays, poems, and book chapters on the spirituality of the body, Jean Denton has helped bring into focus why the separation of body from mind and spirit has led to a body mechanics approach to health that has failed to stem the modern day epidemics of hypertension, diabetes, and myocardial infarction, and how, assisted by congregational health ministries, getting them back together will lead to the solution." -Dave Hilton, MD, Ecumenical Health Ministries
"A fine resource to help small groups in Christian communities upgrade their views."--Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat for Spirituality and Health
"This books is for people who want to explore the contemporary connection between mainline Christianity and health. It is for those who want to know what modern Christian writers have to say about the body and health and those who are considering a health ministry in their congregation or are committed to health ministry. Parish librarians take note."--Episcopal Life, September 2005.
"The questions for reflection and discussion are a distinctive offering of this book and they increase its usefulness in the local congregation. The breadth of ideas represented provides a valuable array of opportunities for discussion in the format presented."--Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith & Ethics from Baylor University, January 2007


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