This article was originally published by The Mennonite

February 2020 Call for Submissions: The dignity of bodies

The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our February 2020 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on The dignity of bodies.

Description of the theme:

In 1 Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul says “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you” and to “glorify God in your body.” Jesus, the Gospels tell us, was fully human and fully divine—God lived in a body. Today, it’s been said, the average American sees or hears 4,000-plus advertisements per day. Whatever the number, many of these ads reduce our bodies to broken vessels, not sacred temples. The messages in the ads are also echoed in faith communities and are an extension of a worldview of dualism that suggests the body is broken, while the Spirit is transcendent. Yet Paul suggests that not only is the body a container for divinity but is sacred space—a place worthy of dignity. We understand dignity to be about respect as well as worthiness. In this issue, we invite stories that communicate the dignity of all human bodies.

Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others:

  • At a time when popular culture tells us our bodies should look a certain way to be good or worthy of care and love, and yet many bodies are shamed and brutalized, how have you embraced and celebrated the dignity of your body? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • Anxiety, grief and pain impact our physical bodies. How have you engaged in practices leading toward wholeness of mind, body and soul? What have you learned from these practices?
  • How have you experienced your body as a place of joy, intimacy, divinity? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • If you are someone living with a disability of any kind, how have you experienced affirmation for the dignity of your body? How have you resisted ableism and nurtured wholeness in your life?
  • What is your understanding of appropriate consent to access your own and another’s body? How does our interaction with each other’s bodies connect to our understanding of God?
  • What is your theology of human bodies? What does Scripture say about the dignity of the body?

Submissions are due to no later than Jan. 3.

We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our updated anti-oppression guidelines as well as our updated editorial guidelines.

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