Both Christian churches and Western culture have given women a very negative view of their bodies and pushed them on a quest for a physically embodied spirituality. In her tenth book, Christine Valters Paintner draws from the deep wells of contemplative wisdom, theological

writings on the body, and the robust efforts of women using the expressive arts of writing, dance, visual art, and movement to connect with their own flesh.

Paintner also probes the lives of women in the Bible and in Christian tradition who have important things to say about the body and its attendant wonders: Eve, Mary, Hildegard of Bingen, and Amma Syncletica. The author salutes the breath, the senses, sexuality and the erotic impulse, and the art of savoring.

Throughout this fetching paperback, Paintner uses poems as lyrical portals into the wisdom of the body. In ten chapters, the author manages to cover a lot of territory. She concludes that "the descent into the body is its own kind of pilgrimage."