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Paperback Eve's Revenge: Women and a Spirituality of the Body Book

ISBN: 1587430401

ISBN13: 9781587430404

Eve's Revenge: Women and a Spirituality of the Body

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Botox. Plastic surgery. Make-up. 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 the pressures from the media to look a certain way. They are intimately connected to their bodies, but often find it difficult to link their experience of the female body with their desire for Christian spirituality. Lillian...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Embodied Spirituality - It Matters

Seldom does a book call for deep repentance while simultaneously offering creative new ways to see oneself. Eve's Revenge by Lilian Calles-Barger does just that, although I suspect the call to repentance that I sensed was due to the fact that I, being male, am deeply implicated in the ways in which women have suffered from a distorted self image imposed upon them or resulting from reaction to male hegemony in both in society and the church. It is a sad reality that such a prophetic voice as Ms. Calles-Barger's is least likely to be heard within the traditional church; the putative locus of healing and redemption. Her treatment of the creation narratives was refreshing and challenges the hierarchical models so often put forth by the church. One can only say with Jesus, "from the beginning it was not so." In addition, this book was a refreshing look at an "embodied spirituality." Ms. Calles-Barger adeptly steers a course between the failed attempts of women to find their identity and meaning by exploiting their bodies (all of which reflexively pertains to men as well) on the one hand and the "transcendent spirituality" of the church on the other hand, which ignores the reality that there is no "being" which does not include the body. The church does not understand this, since early in its history it abandoned its more "earthy" sibling, the Jews, in favor of Neo-Platonic thinking with its concomitant disdain for the physical. Such differences matter, as Ms. Calles-Barger's treatment of "chastity" illumines very well. Moreover the book's emphasis on the community the church ought to be is good and she offers some concrete examples of such community. This is a wonderful book which I hope finds its way into the minds and hearts of not only women in the church but also men. Bravo Ms. Calles-Barger; bring on Chasing Sophia!

Our bodies are who we are

I am highly impressed by this book's treatment of the current predicament of women in our western culture. Even more, I am surprised at the heart of this book, the revelation of how much our bodies truly effect "who we really are". The topic of bodies is not uncommon for women. We hear and see everywhere the newest exercise craze or most promising facial scrub. But Barger reveals the idea that is so common and so subtle, that who we are inside our body, our soul, spirit, etc. is at odds with the physical body that we live in. We believe that in order to be and express who we really are we must thicken our lashes, pierce our lip, maybe even have surgery to change our gender. Another facet of this book that has surprised me is the sheer number of ways our body affects who we are as women. It controls our gender and beauty certainly, but also our race, strength, emotions, energy, health, sexuality, and reproduction. All in one body. I stood in the library several months before picking up this title, and read a page from a little book of meditations about the body, whose title and author I sadly cannot recall. It suggested that we love our body as our most faithful helper and friend, always at work for us. A body as something to care for and love. I think Barger would second this, but she has taken the book even a step farther, and reminds us that in the Christian faith, God decided to become a body too. He didn't manipulate it or struggle to be free of it, but freely chose to live in it as we do, even with it's pain, aging, and awkwardness. The very opposite of what many women would choose for themselves. I hope they find this book and read it.

A Transformative Read

Eve's Revenge is by far one of the most significant books I have ever read. Barger does an exceptional job of uncovering the motivation behind body-related shame, while offering a redemptive alternative to the status quo. I found its principles so liberating that I gathered a group of women to study and discuss it together in greater depth. Insightful, thought-provoking and fresh, Eve's Revenge honors the whole person (body and soul) by reminding us of what we were truly created to be.

Looking differently at the world

Since reading this book, I notice comments and assumptions everywhere around me -- especially in business publications I love -- in a new light. This alone demonstrates to me the immediate relevance of this book.Everywhere in daily life we are presented with unexamined (or commercially driven) assumptions about technology (and what it's for), relationships and community (and where they can be found), and the body (and how it can and should be reconfigured at will to reflect an inner self). Both men and women are also subject to a lot of ridiculous cultural expectations according to their gender. It is nice to see someone drag all of this out into daylight and say, "Not only is all of this here, we're going to go past it and see if we can come to a better understanding." It's not self help, male bashing, or utopian visions. It isn't ten steps to a more embodied life and doesn't give you a form letter to send to Congress. Most of it is trying to understand a larger picture, with some anecdotal evidence thrown in of what different people think or do that seems to help or hinder. The author is trying to enlarge the overall human playing field and question some assumptions that have limited it, not just talk about equal pay or wearing less makeup. She covers a lot of ground. The writing contains some rather abrupt transitions - one reviewer calls the book "unpredictable" and it is that. It is beautifully -- at times, floridly -- written. It may not thoroughly please a reader who loves detailed technical definitions of all terms with comprehensive support for every statement. The book is a readable length and style without all that, and the main ideas and points are clear enough.I think the book breaks new ground for understanding what it means to live in one's own body -- not ignoring it, not forcing it to be something it's not, and not succumbing to its every whim. It is also pretty significant to say that what my body IS has a lot to say about who I am.A refreshing book. I am challenged by it and very glad I read it. Would read more books by this author.

The Provocative Body

Extremely provocative and honest, Barger's book encourages refreshing dialogue that supplants the idea that the human body is a free platform without spiritual implications. Well-written, and well-researched, Eve's Revenge is a direct response to today's culture wars- a very good read.
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