As we dig deeper into the topic of Embodiment, introduced by our recent series, we wanted to equip our community with resources to continue on a journey of learning: what does God want to teach us about our bodies and faith? And how can we apply a theology of embodiment to the research, stories, and expertise of professionals in this area?
The following is a list of resources collected by your pastoral team. They are not necessarily representative of any one position or doctrine, rather they have proved helpful as we engage with the range of topics that are touched upon by our embodiment.
Descriptions are adapted from book listings and about pages, written by the author, podcast host, producer or publisher.
As always, we encourage you to read, listen, or watch prayerfully with curiosity and open bibles as you discern what God might be encouraging you to consider in your own journey to love well and make Jesus known.
The Wisdom of your Body
Author: Dr. Hillary McBride
Category: mental health, politics, faith, embodiment, Canadian author
In The Wisdom of Your Body, clinical therapist and award-winning researcher Dr. Hillary McBride offers a pathway from disconnection to embodied living by making peace with the living, breathing story of who you are.
Mothers & Daughters & Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as we Are
Author: Dr. Hillary McBride
Category: women, motherhood, body image, Canadian author
Based on her original research, Hillary L McBride shares the true stories of young women and their mothers, and provides unique insights into how our relationships with our bodies are shaped by what we see around us and the specific things we can do to have healthier relationships with our appearance, and all the other parts of ourselves that make us women.
Author: Aundi Kolber.
Category: trauma, embodied healing
Aundi Kolber believes that we don’t have to white-knuckle our way through life. She’ll show us how God specifically designed our bodies and minds to work together to process our stories and work through obstacles. Through the latest psychology, practical clinical exercises, and her own personal story, Aundi equips and empowers us to connect us to our truest self and truly live.
Faithful: A Theology of Sex
Author: Beth Felkner Jones
Category: gnosticism, human sexuality, embodiment
As part of Zondervan’s Ordinary Theology series, Faithful is a short read that takes a deeper look at a subject Christians talk about often but not always thoughtfully. This insightful reflection explores the deeper significance of the body and sexuality.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
Author: Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
Category: science, mental health, trauma, psychological research
(Note: Includes descriptions of traumatic events such as sexual abuse.) Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. This book is for those who want to deep dive into the science and psychology of embodiment and trauma.
The Great Sex Rescue
Author: Sheila Wray Gregoire
Category: sexuality, faith
Based on a groundbreaking in-depth survey of 22,000 Christian women, The Great Sex Rescue unlocks the secrets to what makes some marriages red hot while others fizzle out. Generations of women have grown up with messages about sex that make them feel dirty, used, or invisible, while men have been sold such a cheapened version of sex, they don't know what they're missing. The Great Sex Rescue hopes to turn all of that around, developing a truly biblical view of sex where mutuality, intimacy, and passion reign.
My Body Is Not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church
Author: Amy Kenny
Category: Disability and Faith, currently only available for pre-order
Written by a disabled Christian, this book shows that the church is missing out on the prophetic witness and blessing of disability. Kenny reflects on her experiences inside the church to expose unintentional ableism and cast a new vision for Christian communities to engage disability justice. She shows that until we cultivate church spaces where people with disabilities can fully belong, flourish, and lead, we are not valuing the diverse members of the body of Christ.
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved
Author: Kate Bowler
Category: cancer, church and illness, Canadian author
Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval. At thirty-five, everything in her life seems to point toward “blessing.” She is thriving in her job, married to her high school sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son. Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.
People to be Loved: Why Homosexuality is Not Just an Issue
Author: Preston Sprinkle, Wesley Hill
Category: sexuality; LGBTQ+, theology
Christians who are confused by the homosexuality debate raging in the church are looking for resources that are based solidly on a deep study of what Scripture says about the issue. In People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle challenges those on all sides of the debate to consider what the Bible says and how we should approach the topic of homosexuality in light of it.
Love Thy Body
Author: Nancy R. Pearcey
Category: sexuality, LGBTQ+, gender
Best-selling author Nancy Pearcey goes beyond politically correct talking points to offer an exposé of the secularist ethos that shapes critical moral and socio-political issues of our day. Fearlessly and with compassion, she makes the case that secularism denigrates the body and destroys the basis for human rights. Throughout, Pearcey sets forth a holistic and humane alternative available to all: one that offers reality-oriented solutions that embrace the dignity of the human body and provide a sustainable basis for inalienable human rights.
Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
Author: Henri Nouwen
Category: aging, death, grief, loss
Nouwen takes a moving, personal look at human mortality as he gently and eloquently reveals the gifts that the living and dying can give to one another. Nouwen shares his own experiences with aging, loss, grief, and fear in this important and life-altering work.
The Alliance Canada Statement on Human Sexuality
Category: Theology, denominational statement
This statement is the current guiding document for our denomination regarding the Alliance’s theological approach to human sexuality.
Fuller Studio: Exploring the Role of Embodiment in Worship
Author: Alexis D. Abernethy
Category: worship and embodiment, theology
Abernethy examines the implications of separating mind from body in the context of the written word versus action in worship.
Other People’s Problems: a CBC Podcast
Host: Dr. Hillary McBride.
Category: mental health and therapy, what seeing a therapist who takes an embodiment approach sounds like
Real people. Real problems. Real talk. Normally, therapy sessions are totally confidential — but this podcast opens the doors. Hillary McBride and her clients want to help demystify mental health. No actors. No auditions. No artifice. This is what people really sound like when they talk about traumatic births, turbulent divorces, eating disorders and tough childhoods.
“Praying with our Bodies & our Creativity”, The Way of Love podcast
Host: Bishop Michael Curry.
Category: Prayer, embodiment, resources for embodied prayer practices
In this episode, Bishop Michael Curry and hosts Kyle and Sandy discuss prayer on the Way of Love. Andrea McKellar and Bishop Curry share some prayerful practices that take place beyond the church walls, including hiking, neighbourhood walks, and phone apps that can remind us to take time to come before God every day.
Where Do We Go from Here Podcast
Hosts: Jessica Van Der Wyngaard and Devi Abraham
Category: sexuality and church, psychology, theology
(Note: Includes direct and frank discussions around sex and sexuality - not recommended for little ears.) Untangling sex, self, and community for a new generation of Christians through conversations that provide the tools needed to develop and live a wholehearted life. Sound theological framing and psychological insights shape these conversations with thought leaders in their fields. Hosts bring guests from a diversity of perspectives. Rebuilding life and faith with Jesus at the center to figure out: where will you go from here?
A few episodes from this podcast which address embodiment specifically:
Where Do We Go From Here Podcast Ep 20: Don’t Use Faith to Bypass the Body
Category: Embodiment, trauma, faith
Listen to this episode and hear how our body is leading us to truth, to God. Listen to this episode to remind yourself again that your body gives you cues, and those cues are good, an essential way of learning what you need to do, a way of acquiring wisdom. Listen to this episode to remember that God made your body, and it was never supposed to be bypassed by spirituality. Our body is one tool that helps us back to God, and we need our body to understand our sexual selves.
Where Do We Go From Here Podcast Ep 84: Your Body is Good
Category: body and weight, sexuality, faith
The conversation about human sexuality after purity culture is a conversation about bodies. All kinds of bodies. We know what our culture promotes as the "acceptable" body, but what does the church say? Is there a difference? And what does this mean for people who don't fit that mold? Fat activist Amanda Martinez Beck joins us to talk about fatness and sexuality, and we even get into the five myths about fatness and sexuality.
Dear Church: I’m Gay
Producer: The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender
Category: Church, LGBTQ+
The religious conversation about LGBTQ issues often erupts into depersonalized debates about biblical passages or scientific studies. In Dear Church: I’m Gay, you’ll follow the journey of real people who have wrestled with their faith, sexuality or gender, and you’ll see that these issues aren’t just about issues. They’re about people. Real people. Beautiful people created in God’s image.
Embodied Spirituality: Exploring Christian Spiritual Formation
Producer: Biola University Center for Christian Thought
Category: Theology, Spiritual Formation, psychology, sociology
A multi-denominational conversation around embodiment, and how psychology, sociology and theology intersect in the area of spiritual formation.