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Durham e-Theses
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Consuming the Body: The Church and Eating Disorders

KENT, ELIZABETH,ANNE (2013) Consuming the Body: The Church and Eating Disorders. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The aim of this thesis is to suggest that through practical means based on a cohesive theological engagement with the issues, the Christian church has a unique contribution to offer those affected by disordered eating. Taking a canonical narrative approach to Scripture and using the methodology of the pastoral cycle the thesis examines how the Church might understand the relationship between eating, identity, food and the body. After an exploration of the nature of eating disorders from the perspectives of physiology, psychology, history and sociology, this thesis examines how the Church’s practices of baptism and eucharist, confessing and being accountable, and the doctrine of Christian Perfection relate to disordered eating.
The argument advanced is that there are particular contributions the Church can make by living in the light of God’s revelation in Christ, demonstrated through a rediscovery of particular practices. These seek to address the societal context in which disordered eating flourishes, the underlying issues generating and sustaining disordered eating, and its impact upon individual and communal life.
In re-interpreting ancient practices of the Church it is hoped that the body of Christ in the present age may be equipped to engage with disordered eating and be a conduit of God’s healing and hope for those who long to know freedom and release.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Eating disorders anorexia bulimia church christianity
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Feb 2013 09:51

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