Starving for Salvation

Starving for Salvation

Author: Michelle Mary Lelwica

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195151666

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 224

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In recent years, eating disorders among American girls and women have become a subject of national concern. Conventional explanations of eating problems are usually framed in the language of psychology, medicine, feminism, or sociology. Although they differ in theory and approach, these interpretations are linked by one common assumption--that female preoccupation with food and body is an essentially secular phenomenon. In Starving for Salvation, Michelle Lelwica challenges traditional theories by introducing and exploring the spiritual dimensions of anorexia, bulimia, and related problems. Drawing on a range of sources that include previously published interviews with sufferers of eating disorders, Lelwica claims that girls and women starve, binge, and purge their bodies as a means of coping with the pain and injustice of their daily lives. She provides an incisive analysis of contemporary American culture, arguing that our dominant social values and religious legacies produce feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction in girls and women. Trapped in a society that ignores and denies their spiritual needs, girls and women construct a network of symbols, beliefs, and rituals around food and their bodies. Lelwica draws a parallel between the patriarchal legacy of Christianity, which associates women with sin and bodily cravings, and the cultural preference for a thin female body. According to Lelwica, these complimentary forces form a popular salvation myth that encourages girls and women to fixate on their bodies and engage in disordered eating patterns. While this myth provides a sense of meaning and purpose in the face of uncertainty and injustice, Lelwica demonstrates that such rigid and unhealthy devotion to the body only deepens the spiritual void that women long to fill. Although Lelwica presents many disturbing facts about the origins of eating disorders, she also suggests positive ways that our society can nourish the creative and spiritual needs of girls and women. The first step, however, is to acknowledge that female preoccupation with thinness and food signifies a strong desire for fulfillment. Until we recognize and contest the religious legacies and cultural values that perpetuate eating disorders, many women will continue to turn to the most accessible symbolic and ritual resources available to them--food and their bodies--in an attempt to satiate their profound spiritual hunger.
Starving for Salvation
Language: en
Pages: 224
Authors: Michelle Mary Lelwica
Categories: Health & Fitness
Type: BOOK - Published: 2002-04-15 - Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

In recent years, eating disorders among American girls and women have become a subject of national concern. Conventional explanations of eating problems are usually framed in the language of psychology, medicine, feminism, or sociology. Although they differ in theory and approach, these interpretations are linked by one common assumption--that female
Working Out My Salvation
Language: en
Pages: 112
Authors: William James Hoverd
Categories: Body image
Type: BOOK - Published: 2005 - Publisher: Meyer & Meyer Verlag

This book is a study of the motivations that drive increasing numbers of people into the contemporary institution of the gymnasium that promises its prospective members the opportunity of positive physical transformation through membership.
The Fat Jesus
Language: en
Pages: 176
Authors: Lisa Isherwood
Categories: Religion
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008-03-01 - Publisher: Church Publishing, Inc.

We are living in a food and body image obsessed culture. We are encouraged to over-consume by the marketing and media that surround us and then berated by those same forces for doing so. At the same time, we are bombarded with images of unnaturally thin celebrities who go to
Feminist Theology and Contemporary Dieting Culture
Language: en
Pages: 352
Authors: Hannah Bacon
Categories: Religion
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-08-08 - Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Hannah Bacon draws on qualitative research conducted inside one UK secular commercial weight loss group to show how Christian religious forms and theological discourses inform contemporary weight-loss narratives. Bacon argues that notions of sin and salvation resurface in secular guise in ways that repeat well-established theological meanings. The slimming organization
Hunger and Happiness
Language: en
Pages: 151
Authors: L. Shannon Jung
Categories: Religion
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-06-01 - Publisher: Augsburg Books

In a world where there is so much food, why are so many people hungry? Amidst so much plenty, why aren't people happier? L. Shannon Jung insists that the two questions-one having to do with physical hunger, the other with spiritual want-are related. Hunger and Happiness exposes the atrocities of