Re-Anointing the Body by Eline Kieft

How ‘at one’ are you with your body, and what reasons might there be if your body-sense got separate(d) from your soul-sense?

This piece starts with the difference between feminine and masculine spirituality, and introduces a few reasons why living in a physical body isn’t always easy.

It then invites a shift to the beloved body and how we can start to re-instate our body as a sacred place and love it from within.

Continue reading “Re-Anointing the Body by Eline Kieft”

“What Could be Sadder?” I’ll tell you…by Esther Nelson

You’ve probably seen the following meme circulating on social media:

This meme is designed to be evocative.  Specifically, it plays into the concept of the sanctity of motherhood that so often oozes into a popular sentimentality about children.  In Christian-majority countries, we read and hear the story of the Virgin Mary acquiescing humbly and readily to her pregnancy when the angel of the Lord tells her she is with child, something done to her by the Holy Spirit.  “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.  And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).  Mary is often elevated in Christian circles as a role model for women.

Putting aside the question (for now) that asks when life begins, let’s consider this “sad sight” the meme talks about—“women marching for the right to kill their own children.”  Abortion aside (for now), there are many examples—both in literature and history—of women having killed their children.  I offer the following two:

The novelist Toni Morrison (b. 1931) won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1988) for her book, BELOVED.  Morrison tells Sethe’s story, a mother who knows firsthand the horrors of slavery, who kills her child rather than seeing her enslavedContinue reading ““What Could be Sadder?” I’ll tell you…by Esther Nelson”

Painting Baby Suggs by Angela Yarber

Each month I am writing an article that discusses one of my Holy Women Icons, which are an array of icons painted with a folk feminist twist.  These Holy Women Icons are comprised of biblical women, such as the Shulamite, feminist scholars, such as Mary Daly, artists, dancers, and women from mythology and literature.  This month, I’d like to focus on a holy woman whose preaching embodied eschatological imagination and whose dance liberated broken bodies.  This holy woman cannot be found within the confines of scripture or met in the flesh.  Rather, her preaching and dancing are found within the pages of Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved.  If ever there was a holy woman who preached on behalf of all those broken and bound it was Morrison’s stunning character, Baby Suggs, holy.

Eschatological imagination is a communal foretaste of resurrection that does not suppress the social conflicts and injustices of racism, poverty, slavery, and privilege.  Through the preaching and dancing of Baby Suggs, enslaved bodies are redeemed and transformed into resurrected bodies.  A slave herself, Baby Suggs leads all the black men, women, and children to a clearing each week for worship.  After inviting men to dance, children to laugh, and women to cry, she offers up one of the most beautiful sermons on behalf of her enslaved community.  Morrison describes the efficacy of Baby Suggs’ message, saying:

She did not tell them to clean up their lives or to go and sin no more.  She did not tell them they were blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glory-bound pure.  She told them the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine.  That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Continue reading “Painting Baby Suggs by Angela Yarber”

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