I’ve been thinking all week about Isherwood’s definition of body theology as created through the body rather than about the body. Our tendency is to relate to our bodies as something “other,” as a separate entity that is not the same as our “self.” As Isherwood says elsewhere in that chapter, our language betrays our perspective when we say that we have bodies rather than that we are bodies.
This weekend, take some time to reflect and perhaps journal on the following question:
How do YOU define body theology?
This question is more than a cognitive exercise in generating a pithy statement about what you believe the term “body theology” means or what the phrase evokes in you, though these are of course useful exercises as well. What I’m really asking here, what I’m encouraging you to ask yourselves this weekend, is this:
How does who you are as a mind-body-spirit being, designed by and created in the image of the Divine Being who defies all category and definition (including age, race, and gender), and believer in and follower of the way of the incarnate, flesh-and-blood, living-and-breathing, dwelling-among-us, crucified-and-resurrected Emmanuel (which means God-with-us) — how do YOU define body theology?
How is body theology defined through the unique physical human being only YOU can be? What does your experience of being alive in your own skin bring to the table? What does your body teach us about who God is and about who we are as the community of God? How is God made manifest in and through you that is only possible because you are a bundle of tangible flesh?
This is a big question.
Open yourself up to the possibilities presented by this kind of approach to theological reflection. Really sit with the reality God reveals to you. Write it down or talk through your experience with a trusted friend.
Then come back and share in the comment box below. What came up for you as you meditated on these questions?