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Liturgical Press

Body Symbolism in the Bible

Silvia Schroer and Thomas Staubli; Linda M. Maloney, Translator

Body Symbolism in the Bible
Body Symbolism in the Bible

ISBN: 9780814659540, 5954

Details: 256 pgs, 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
Publication Date: 09/01/2001

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Many people with illnesses seek healing in religions and practices that are only weakly inculturated among us. Our understanding and use of such foreign wisdom is often just as superficial; but it is easily understood against the background of a centuries-long Christian tradition of interpreting the Bible in a way hostile to the body, particularly the female body.

In Body Symbolism in the Bible, Schroer and Staubli offer a better understanding of this subject by exploring the symbolism of various body parts in the Bible. They reinterpret and thereby reclaim the notion of the body as a temple of God so that regard for the body can lead to respect for the human rights of women and men. Exploring the topic through the lenses of theological anthropology and biblical spirituality, their presentation will surely add clarity to our understanding and generate future discussion.

Richly illustrated in full color.


In one handy, highly readable, and reasonably priced volume the authors supply 110 illustrations, slightly less than half of them in vivid color. . . . Body Symbolism in the Bible would make an ideal addition to the required reading list for introductory college and university courses . . .
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

. . . makes an invaluable contribution to readers of the Bible in bridging the cultural gap that separates them from those who produced the biblical text by clearly describing how the Bible uses the body and its parts as metaphors. . . . The book is very amply and beautifully illustrated. . . . No theological library should be without this volume.
Catholic Library World

A very practical use of the material could be in aiding the compilers of a liturgy—each chapter, with its focus on a single body part, could provide a number of very rewarding biblical references and some suggestions as to how their further significance could be explored.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to gain new insights into the biblical symbolism of the human body and to use this understanding to counterbalance the centuries-long Christian history of interpreting the Bible in a way inimical to the body.
Catholic Issues

. . . a scholarly, college-level study of the body parts used as symbol and metaphor in the Old Testament. . . . A fascinating and exhaustively researched study, Body Symbolism in the Bible is a strongly recommended addition to academic Biblical studies supplemental reading lists and reference collections.
The Bookwatch

This little book covers more than its title might suggest.
Journal of Religious History