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These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  151 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
It was Blessed John Paul II's greatest gift to the Church: The theology of the body. A window into who we are, the theology of the body is a theology for the rooms where we make love. But it's also a theology for the rooms where we work, where we eat, where we laugh, and where we pray. These Beautiful Bones takes you on a walk through those rooms. With both humor and pract ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Emmaus Road Publishing
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Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-list, favorites
Brace yourself, because I didn't just love this book. I am not about to just expound about one of my favorite author's genius lightly. No, when I call this book a modern masterpiece, I'm not exaggerating. I'm probably understating by a factor of 100.

If you've spent the last ten years watching "theology of the body" become a catchphrase and still not understanding it...

If the phrase "theology of the body" has you (a) rolling your eyes, (b) running in fear, or (c) puking in the toilet...

If you don
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
Overall, a really excellent, practical book with a lot of food for thought. I love the premise of incorporating a body + soul unity in every aspect of our lives. She makes so many great points about ordering our lives toward what matters, moving and living in our bodies (not just going from cubicle to couch), avoiding the pitfalls of the age of distraction, and so much more. I saved many passages to look back on later!

Some parts were confusing--particularly in the chapter on dressing. I don't ge
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've given this book 5 stars because it sets out on a crucial task not only for Theology of the Body devotees, but anyone trying to live an authentic integrated human life.

Is it the be all and end all? No. But Emily Stimpson "gets it." The Theology of the Body is not a theology of sex, as it is most often portrayed, but a theology of being human made in the Image and Likeness of God. Stimpson's work attempts to make that palpable to the modern reader, in theory and in practice.

My hope is that
Fr. Mark
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Many books of Theology of the Body (TOB) address the implications for marital relationships, but this may be the first book to talk about the real impact of TOB on everyday life. If we take the body seriously as a revelation of God's goodness and His plan for our life, then that effects how we organize our time, how we work, and how we relate to others. It is really just the beginning of a conversation about this aspect of TOB, and is a little scattered in organization at times, but a great read ...more
Jeff Cann
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked several things about this book. First, it reiterates the idea that according to Catholic teaching (from Genesis 2:7) we believe that body and soul are united and cannot be separated (CCC 362).

So it stands to reason that the way we view, think about, and behave with our bodies directly affects our relationship with God. This is profound, particularly in our modern society in which many of us think our bodies are a toy because we do not understand we can cause spiritual damage through bodi
Laura P.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book touches on many different ways we can live JPII's Theology of the Body in our everyday lives. There really were great point made. But to be honest, this isn't my favorite book about TOB. It could be that because I've read some of the original TOB, the ideas didn't seem incredibly "new" to me. But I think it mostly wasn't my favorite because I would have loved if Emily had gone so much deeper into what she mentioned. I wanted to know more of the "why" and "how". If you haven't read much ...more
Philip Martin
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have a Master's Degree in Theology, have been to the Theology of the Body Institute, have read the original Theology of the Body and much of Christopher West. This book was very refreshing. I found myself smiling half of the time and lost in introspection the other half. To take the concepts of the Theology of the Body and apply it to modern times in a practical way was very beautiful and beneficial to myself as a Catholic Christian. Emily Stimpson is a gifted writer and I look forward to more ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A practical, easy to read--but not necessarily to follow!--book on applying St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body to our entire lives, from clothing to food to social media, and more. A definite must-read!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic-reading
Can I give it more than 5 stars? This was SO good. Easily the best book I've read this year.

I had trouble reading her food book and I didn't connect with her opening about the Bone Church. However, by page 6, it got easier to read and I fell in love with her everyday theology of the body (TOTB). Good (orthodox) Catholic understandings, but completely understandable and relateable. TOTB meets manners. TOTB meets fashion. TOTB meets technology. TOTB in the everyday world.

I loved her premise that p
A perfect balance of philosophy, theology and practicality. I've never know where to start with the theology of the body and this was an excellent starting point. The author is aware of the challenges of the real world and how to live in it. At the same time she does a great job explaining the history and philosophies that have pushed the world to where it is today. I would recommend this book for anyone who is struggling to figure how they are supposed to live a Catholic/Christian lifestyle in ...more
Laura H.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely and thoughtful book. Having not yet tackled St. John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" in its entirety, this text was a very gentle, yet rallying introduction to the spirit of that work; a guide to growing in awareness of the intrinsic beauty and dignity to the body from choosing clothes to sweeping the kitchen floor, as well as participating in the liturgy of the Church. Highly recommend!
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Parts of it were great. I loved the beginning of the chapter on food. Food as symbolic of God’s grace... Great thought! The liturgy chapter and the distraction chapter were both really good. Also, the message of the Bone Church gave much food for thought.
But I found a lot of the writing to be ‘preachy’ with too much of pointing out how badly we’re doing things.
And I wanted to understand more of the Theology of the Body, its philosophy, and this is not really the book for that.
Lorraine Shelstad
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting book showing how John Paul II's book "Theology of the Body" is for every part of our lives. It is not just for married people because it talks about the body in daily life. She does repeat her ideas over and over but it is nicely written. She had struggles with eating disorders and The Theology of the Body was the book that got her on track to healing.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an accessible, practical, and winsome reflection on the implications of John Paul II's "theology of the body" for daily life. Brimming with wisdom, it is an invitation to a sacramental way of life.
Ashley Stangl
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
One of the most beautiful and practical little theology books I've ever read. Teaches how to bring holiness to even the most mundane parts of daily life.
Betsy Willing
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I am giving this book three stars, there are elements of this book that I will take with me, particularly the references to the beauty of work in relation to the "Theology of the Body". The book began with the description of the "bone church" and I was hooked, however I was lost when Stimpson started to share her own opinions, especially about dress, with nothing to back them up. Some lines in particular "curvy girls can't wear pencil skirts" "wrinkled pants are the uniform of a slob " The peopl ...more
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I'm an athiest, and I'm sure you are wondering why I would read this as an athiest... I personally like to be educated on what it is I believe in and what the other side is saying. You can't actually have a debate unless you thoroughly know your opponents disposition.

3 stars for how the book was written. Some of it was a little contradictory but overall if this is what you are applying to your life and what you choose to live by... It doesn't get much better than this.

2 stars becau
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
She's basically an Emily Post for Catholics.

I really enjoyed this detailed exploration of what it means to live like a Catholic. She's right, it's about more than mass and praying sometimes-- pleasing and honoring God should be in the back of our minds as we make small decisions, complete mundane tasks and in how we carry ourselves.

Inspiring and practical. I hope to keep the things she said in the back of my mind.
Patti Armstrong
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on JPII's Theology of the Body. Most people don't realize that his teaching were not just about sex but about everything. All that we do, all that we use our bodies for, are ways to serve God. The author, Emily Stimpson writes well: gracefully, intelligently, and engaging.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent, book that introduces readers in a thoughtful way to some of the basics of TOB and applies them to real life. Not for those looking for a comprehensive approach to the subject but a worthwhile introduction to some of the ideas.
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. I've never read about the theology of the body before.
Ann Warren
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! A Theology of the Body book that makes John Paul's teaching applicable to every day life. Five stars was not enough!
Taylor Troncin
Oct 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pre-2016-read
I won a free copy of this book through a goodreads giveaway.

I really wanted to like the book ... But it was not what I wanted... (Not that I know what I was expecting really...)
Marysarah Menkhaus
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SO good. Really opens your eyes how to live with the theology of the body in the forefront.
Lyn Mettler
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written book that truly shows you how to honor your body the way God intended in all aspects of your life from cleaning to cooking to what you choose to wear.
All the general stuff was amazing. The everyday life stuff and some of the specifics were a little opinionated.
Kathleen Basi
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review/reflection posted at:
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May 15, 2017
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“as modernism sees it, the human body is nothing more than matter, to be molded, manipulated, and used. Devoid of divine purpose or meaning, it’s left for each of us, as individuals, to decide what we want to do with our body. We can ignore it and neglect it, or we can indulge its every appetite. We can nip it and tuck it, remaking it into whatever shape we desire, or we can cut it, starve it, and put it to rest when age, pain, or disease become too much to bear. We can give it away, again and again, to anyone we fancy in whatever ways we fancy, and we can do what we like with any new life that comes of that giving. When the body is seen as mere matter, anything goes. The body, however, isn’t mere matter. That’s a modernist fiction. Rather, as the Catholic anthropology of the theology of the body reminds us, man is a union of body and soul, made in the image of God. Which means our bodies are us. Your body is you. My body is me.” 0 likes
“That’s the sacramental worldview. It’s a worldview where heaven comes to earth, grace penetrates matter, and every individual’s story is part of the cosmic story of salvation history. It’s a worldview where everything has a meaning, everyone has a purpose, and every moment is accounted for in a Divine Plan. It is, ultimately, a worldview that says Sartre was wrong and Flannery O’Connor was right. Hell isn’t other people. Other people are Christs.1 Without the sacramental worldview, there would be no plays by Shakespeare or concertos by Bach, no stories by Chesterton or mythologies by Tolkien. There would be no St. Peter’s, no Notre Dame, no Sistine Chapel, no David, no university system, no scientific method. The sacramental worldview made all that and more possible as gifted men and women strove to convey in words, music, marble, and methods the divine splendor of the world in which they lived. Then, that stopped. The Modernist Prism” 0 likes
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