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Flesh Made Word
Medieval Women Mystics, Writing, and the Incarnation

By Emily A. Holmes

Flesh Made Word
Hardback, 246 pages $49.95
Published: 1st November 2013
ISBN: 9781602587533
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Theology, Women's Studies

For most of Christian history, the incarnation designated Christ as God made man. The obvious connection between God and the male body too often excluded women and the female body. In Flesh Made Word, Emily A. Holmes displays how medieval women writers expanded traditional theology through the incarnational practice of writing. Holmes draws inspiration for feminist theology from the writings of these medieval women mystics as well as French feminist philosophers of écriture féminine. The female body is then prioritized in feminist Christology, rather than circumvented. Flesh Made Word is a fresh, inclusive theology of the incarnation. 



Introduction, The Problem of Incarnation

1 Attending to Word and Flesh, An Inclusive Incarnation

2 Hadewijch of Brabant and the Mother of Love

3 Angela of Foligno Writing the Body of Christ

4 Writing Annihilation with Marguerite Porete

5 Transcendence Incarnate, Apophatic Bodies and the Apophatic Christ



Flesh Made Word offers a broad palette with which to interpret and practice the Word made flesh, a central but underdeveloped doctrine at the heart of Christian faith.”

—Margaret R. Miles, Professor Emerita of Historical Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Christian Century (April 2, 2014) 

Flesh Made Word brings medieval mystical writers and postmodern theorists into dialogue in order to demonstrate their relevance for a contemporary feminist theology and a theology of the incarnation. This is an engaging and elegant work of history and theology.”

—M. Shawn Copeland, Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College

“In clear and graceful prose, Holmes guides contemporary readers through
the various ways that certain medieval women we’ve come to call ‘mystics’
gave textual flesh to divine love. She offers us resources for writing new incarnations of the
theological for our own time and place. A rich mix of theory and practice,
language and what exceeds it, the historical and the contemporary.”

—Ellen T. Armour, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair of Feminist Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity School

“It is a rare achievement for a text to embody what the author describes in theory. In Flesh Made Word, Emily Holmes joins medieval mystics Hadewijch, Angela, and Porete in writing as a practice of incarnation. Her engagement of feminist theorists, feminist and womanist theologians, and queer scholars is thorough, creative, and transformative. Each theoretically rich turn is grounded in the social impact of theologies of incarnation for her medieval subjects as well as contemporary ethical and spiritual practices.”

—Kate Ott, Assistant Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Drew Theological School

Emily A. Holmes is Associate Professor, Department of Religion and Philosophy at Christian Brothers University and co-author of Women, Writing, Theology: Transforming a Tradition of Exclusion. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 246 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL067000, REL067080, SOC010000
 Baylor University Press

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