Few issues have caused the church more difficulty through the ages than those surrounding the human body. Throughout much of Christian history, spiritual seekers have considered the body to be, at best, a hindrance to spiritual enlightenment, and, at worst, an enemy to be suppressed. Many of our contemporary negative preoccupations with physical appearance, image, and sexuality derive from this ancient and habitual denial of the notion that we were created in God's image.
In Echo of the Soul bestselling author J. Philip Newell finds that the human body, like creation, is actually the dwelling place of God. Using the Old Testament Wisdom literature, which informed Celtic spirituality's positive understanding of what it means to be human, Newell looks at each part of the body as a sacred text that reveals something of the Divine. Looking back to a time before Christians began to distrust their physicality, Newell shows that our most ancient texts challenge modern assumptions about love, beauty, sexuality, learning, wisdom, power, and responsibility, and bridges the body/spirit divide.