This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood
Stock No: WW205289
This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood  -     By: Hannah Shanks

This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood

Upper Room / 2018 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW205289

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Part personal narrative and part scriptural analysis, This Is My Body delves into what it means to be a woman, to have a woman's body, to be a mother, and to be a member of the body of Christ. By encouraging women to remove the patriarchal lens through which they have viewed God, Shanks encourages women to find acceptance and belonging, knowing that they too were created in God's image and affirming that their bodies matter to God.

A Discussion Guide with questions for each of the nine chapters makes the book suitable for a women's book group.

Product Information

Title: This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood
By: Hannah Shanks
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: Upper Room
Publication Date: 2018
Weight: 5 ounces
ISBN: 1935205285
ISBN-13: 9781935205289
Stock No: WW205289

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Publisher's Description

Kneeling at the communion rail, Hannah Shanks heard the familiar words "The body of Christ, broken for you" as the server tore off a piece of bread and placed it in her hands. And then "The blood of Christ, shed for you" as she dipped her bread into the common cup. Just hours before she had found out she was pregnant. Now she heard the words "This is my body" as she’d never heard them before.

It occurred to her that Jesus’ words spoken at the Last Supper"This is my body, broken; This is my blood poured out"—were as fitting a description of birth as they are of death. Not only do the words describe Jesus’ death, but they also apply to every birth that has ever taken place. Making this connection shifted Shanks’s thinking about the familiar ritual of communion.

This Is My Body is a journey of discovery and reclamation, of finding familiar paths in unfamiliar territory and new facets to ancient rituals. Part personal narrative and part unearthing of scripture passages from a woman’s point of view, it draws women and men closer to the God we profess, a God who is in all things, a God who is present in all genders and beyond them. Readers discover that God can be seen through the eyes, bodies, and experiences of women just as God has long been viewed from a male perspective. Using the communion liturgy and elements of the common table (where all are welcome) as a framework, the book offers much material for reflection on this central act of Christianity.

This Is My Body is about getting surprised by positivity toward one’s body in a time of life when negativity is expected. It is about finding a new relationship to the acts of Christian community through the experience of a woman’s body, including pregnancy and birth. The author approaches motherhood with one foot in the sacred and the other in the often difficult space of the stereotypes the church attaches to mothering.

Author Bio

Hannah Shanks is assistant professor of social work and director of the social work program at Greenville University, Greenville, Illinois. She is a storyteller and has participated in the St. Louis chapter of Listen to Your Mother, a live reading series and video sharing company. Hannah describes herself as an accidental clergy spouse. A survivor of preeclampsia and placental abruption, she is the mother of one son. Hannah is a member of Anam Cara St. Louis, an intentional ecumenical community formed around a shared Rule of Life and weekly observance of prayer and communion.

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