Christians along history had, and they continue to have an ambiguous relationship with their bodies in particular and physicality in general.
This is the topic of Tara M Owens’s new book, Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.
Here is a short presentation, on Amazon website.
Our bodies teach us about God, and God communicates to us through our bodies. Our bodies are more good than we can possibly imagine them to be. And yet at times we may struggle with feelings of shame and guilt or even pride in regard to our bodies. What is God trying to do through our skin and bones? In Embracing the Body spiritual director Tara Owens invites you to listen to your thoughts about your body in a way that draws you closer to God, calling you to explore how your spirituality is intimately tied to your physicality. Using exercises for reflection at the end of each chapter, she guides you to see your body not as an inconvenience but as a place where you can meet the Holy in a new way―a place to embrace God’s glorious intention.
I have heard of Owens for the first time on Rachel Held Evans’s blog, in a guest post written by Tara and titled ‘How do I involve God in my sexuality?‘
Read HERE a very good interview with Tara on her book. Here is the beginning of it:
Q – Tara – you’re a certified spiritual director, veteran writer, wife and mum – can you tell us three things we may not know about you?
That’s a fun question! I’ve always thought I would win the “two truths and a lie” icebreaker game—because I have at least three outrageous things about myself that I can share, all of which are true.
First, I used to be an amateur boxer. For nearly eight years, I competed in boxing, muay thai boxing and kickboxing. It surprises people, because I’m a soft-spoken spiritual director, but I loved the sport and learned so much about myself from it. I hope to get back to in some time in the future.
Second, five years ago I had a heart attack. It was completely out of the blue, and almost totally unexplained—I didn’t have high blood pressure or cholesterol. It’s one of the things that created this desire in me to write about the body in a way that both honored the gift that we’ve been given in flesh and bone, and acknowledged that our bodies sometime betray us deeply.
Third, I’ve never had a full cup of coffee in my life. I know that I tend toward fallen, addictive behaviors, so I’ve avoided coffee because I just have this sense that if I started it, I’d be mainlining it every morning within a week or so. It’s part of the way I steward my own weaknesses.
Oh, and I’m British and Canadian, living in the United States on a green card. And I once had a warrant out for my arrest.
Read on at the link above. It is really worth it.
You may also listen HERE to another interview with Tara in her new book.
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Here are a few things about Tara as told by herself:
I was born in Montreal to British parents who moved to Canada for a better life for their growing family. Canadian by birth and British by blood, I’ve also lived in Raleigh, North Carolina; Washington, DC; Arlington, Virginia and, now, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I discerned the call to spiritual direction while completing my Masters of Theological Studies in Spiritual Formation at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. Like many spiritual directors, I was captured by the incredible privilege it is to companion someone as they discern the voice of the Loving Creator in their lives.
Before pursuing my Spiritual Formation degree, I was a professional print journalist. My love of story drew me to news reporting and then to political journalism. It was that very ear for narrative that God used to bring me to spiritual direction, where I help others make sense of the story in which they are living, and connect it up with the Larger Story of redemption and life that the Trinity is weaving into human history.
In addition to my journey as a spiritual director, I am blessed to marry my love for spiritual formation with my love for the written word as Senior Editor of Conversations Journal. Founded by Larry Crabb, David Benner and Gary Moon, Conversations is a forum for authentic spiritual transformation where authors such as Dallas Willard and Eugene Peterson discuss the patterns and practice of spiritual growth.
I founded Anam Cara Ministries in 2007 as a place of where true soul friendship can be found. ‘Anam Cara’ is an ancient Celtic word meaning ‘soul friend,’ one of the essential qualities of a spiritual director. Celtic Christianity and its practices form a foundation to the work of Anam Cara Ministries—from spiritual fri en ds hip to a fundamental respect for creation to the discipline of the hours.
Anam Cara Ministries is meant to be a place of grace and hope, where a deeper relationship with God can be pursued in a context of hospitality and safety. I’ve been a practicing spiritual director for more than five years, and I’m honored that you’ve chosen to explore a little deeper here with me.