Happy July, everyone. I hope summer is warm and restful and has a s'more or two in it.
First, since this is a "book blog," I do need to start with news about Theology of the Body, Extended and its research. The book has been published for a year now with Lectio Publishing, bless their brave souls. It's a tough, tough time to start a new academic press. That is one reason I was really happy that this book (my work and Lectio's work) actually won a national award! (I know--I'm still floored!) Theology of the Body, Extended won first place in the "Best Book by a Small Publisher" category in the 2015 Catholic Press Association Book Awards. Here's the jury's blurb:
Really, this is an enormously flattering honor, and I am grateful.
Other book-related news: I was happy to offer two workshops at the Diocese of Winona's Ministry Days in June, where 150 priests, deacons, and lay church workers gather to pray and learn for two days. One workshop was called "Beyond the Wheelchair Ramp: listening to people with disabilities in your parish," and the other was "A Theology of the Dying Body: helping the people of God learn how to die well." I really enjoyed the conversations with so many great people and getting feedback, and should anyone want me to give those workshops again, or you just want to know what they were about (I have powerpoints, people!), please contact me. I'd be happy to talk.
At the end of July, I will be offering a directed weekend retreat called "The Gift of Birth: Seeking the Holy Spirit in your Birthing." Many thanks to the Franciscan Spirituality Center in Lacrosse, WI, for being excited about this and promoting it so well! There are spaces available if you are a woman who thinks she could become pregnant in the near future (or you are pregnant now). Please contact them asap if you are interested. You do not need to be Catholic to attend, although I am speaking from that perspective.
Finally, I have written a spiritual direction-style book titled The Gift of Birth: spiritual insights for expecting mothers. It is meant to translate ch. 2 in ToB, Extended to a popular audience. Well, at long last, it is getting published! If all goes well, it will be available in January of 2016. (Publisher to be announced...I know, I'm such a sneak, but there are decisions to be made about which imprint within the publisher is best suited to the text. You will know when I know for sure!).
Thank you, everyone, for your support of this book and the research and argument embedded in it. This has been a long road, but people's responses have been deeply encouraging. Honestly, the last and significant piece of this project is if you appreciate the book, get someone else to read it...ask your library to order it, use it in a class, or a study group/book club (I do Skype, if you're interested in me joining in). Lectio took a chance on this book, a new look at a topic so hot that some people won't even touch it. The editors at Lectio have been everything kind in this process, but selling the book is a grass roots movement of sorts. I honestly don't get lots of money from this; it is not about the money. It's about better conversation on what it means to be human, and now more than ever, we need those conversations. We need them in our church, and we need them in our culture.
It you liked the book well enough to recommend it, or review it, or give it to a friend: thank you!
Last but not least: Lectio has created a facebook page for the book. I will be posting there from time to time. Please "like" it if you want to keep up, and/or invite a friend.
Peace, Susan Windley-Daoust