The Wisdom of the Body

A Contemplative Journey to Wholeness for Women

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: March 3, 2017

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Named one of the top 50 spirituality books of 2017 by Spirituality & Practice.

The distorted view of the perfect female body created by popular culture, television, movies, and the media often causes women to become uncomfortable with their own bodies. Christine Valters Paintner, popular author of nine books and abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts, draws from Celtic, desert, and Benedictine traditions to help women connect with their bodies through writing, visual art, and movement.

In The Wisdom of the Body, Christine Valters Paintner focuses on the true meaning of the Incarnation—God became flesh—and points to the spiritual importance of appreciating the bodies God gave us.

Each of the book’s ten chapters is a mini-workshop designed to lead us to new ways of being in relationship with our bodies. Starting with the senses and shifting toward emotions and desires, Paintner explores their role as thresholds to discovering the body’s wisdom. She draws from Christian tradition to offer principles and practices such as stability, hospitality, and gratitude to lead us on a journey that ends with a sense of deep peace and self-acceptance.

Through expressive arts and creative movement, Paintner demonstrates a new a language and way of integrating and sharing our discoveries. By exploring the lives of women in the Bible and in the Christian tradition—including Eve, Mary, Hildegaard of Bingen, and Amma Syncletica—Paintner introduces us to companions that accompany us on our journey.

Product Details

Pages: 224

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781933495828

Imprint: Sorin Books

  • “A gift, a vision, an invitation.”


    The Wisdom of the Body met me where I was and transported me to a place I haven’t been in a long time, drawing me across sacred thresholds and inviting me to pause, breathe, and renew my commitment to live life with attention and intention. Thank you, Christine Valters Paintner, for the gift of this book, this vision, this invitation!”

    Mary DeTurris Poust
    Catholic blogger and author of Cravings

  • “A good map for the journey to wholeness.”


    Christine Valters Paintner­ is a trusted guide, lighting the way home to body and soul. This book is a good map for the journey to wholeness. I put it at the top of my list to recommend to teachers and students seeking to embody the joy of spiritual life.”

    Cynthia Winton-Henry
    Cofounder of InterPlay

  • “Many will be helped and inspired through this work.”


    “Christine Valters Paintner’s ability to weave multi-faceted spiritual practice with the expressive arts in a sensitive and trauma-informed manner has long inspired me, and I know that many will be helped and inspired through this work. Christine is a true gem, a blessing, and a beacon of light to those of us who are on the path of healing—she is gentle, wise, and challenging in a harmonious blend that comes through in her spirit-filled teachings.”

    Jamie Marich
    Clinical trauma expert and author of Dancing Mindfulness

  • “An eclectic, hands-on book sure to deepen your spirituality.”


    “A mini-retreat you can take at your own pace, The Wisdom of the Body is inspiring and possibly life-changing for those who struggle with body issues but also meaningful for those comfortable within their body.”

    Heidi Schlumpf
    National Catholic Reporter columnist

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