Spirituality in the Flesh: Bodily Sources of Religious Experiences

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It became "quite common" for members of the Oxford Movement within the Anglican Communion to practice self-flagellation using a discipline. In the verses leading up to Col Paul holds a very high view of Christ's redeeming work. Nothing remains to be done, and the suffering of Christ's followers does not put the finishing touches on the triumph of Calvary. Paul does not believe that suffering has any atoning benefit for himself or for others. It does, however, 'serve to increase Paul's living knowledge of Christ.

Persecution and suffering such as that experienced by Christ will follow and Christians should see this suffering as a divine necessity. In chapter 9 "Paul compares the evangelistic lifestyle of believers to athletes who sacrifice normal pursuits for the sake of strict training and a competitive edge". Mortification of the flesh being self-flagellation is something that is read into the text and an errant interpretation of it. Some indigenous cultures' shamans believe that endurance of pain or denial of appetites serves to increase spiritual power.

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In many indigenous cultures, painful rites are used to mark sexual maturity, marriage, procreation, or other major life stages. In Africa and Australia, indigenous people sometimes use genital mutilation on boys and girls that is intentionally painful, including circumcision , subincision , clitoridectomy , piercing , or infibulation. In some Native American tribes enduring scarification or the bites of ants are common rituals to mark a boy's transition to adulthood. Human rights organizations in several areas of the world have protested some of these methods, which can be forced upon the participants, although some are voluntary and are a source of pride and status.

Shamans often use painful rites and self-denial such as fasting or celibacy to attain transformation, or to commune with spirits. It has been speculated that extreme practices of mortification of the flesh may be used to obtain an altered state of consciousness to achieve spiritual experiences or visions. In modern times, members of the Church of Body Modification believe that by manipulating and modifying their bodies by painful processes they can strengthen the bond between their bodies and spirits, and become more spiritually aware.

This group uses rites of passage from many traditions including Hinduism , Buddhism and shamanism , to seek their aims. In some contexts, modern practices of body modification and plastic surgery overlap with mortification. Often, secular people will undergo painful experiences in order to become more self-aware, to take control of their bodies or "own" them more fully, to bond with a group that is spiritual in its aims, or to overcome the body's limitations in ways that do not refer to any higher power.

Mortification in Roman Catholic teaching

Many times these rites are intended to empower the participant, rather than humble them. This represents a very different aim than many traditional mortifications. Roland Loomis re-creates Sun dance ceremonies and suspensions for those who believe these painful procedures expand their consciousness. Others who have used these experiences to transcend physical limitations report a feeling of mastery over their physical circumstance, along with a widened perspective. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the theological doctrine, see Mortification theology.

For the Christian metal band, see Mortification band. Further information: Mortification theology.

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Main article: Mortification in Roman Catholic teaching. Further information: Works of Piety. Christianity portal. Marian Catechist Apostolate. Retrieved 14 June Saint Paul sets forth in the above two passages the fundamental reason why we are in need of mortification. The Christian must continually seek to crucify and put to death that dimension of our self that remains under the influence of the fallen state of the First Adam into which we are conceived and born. After our baptism, the imputed sin of our First Parents is washed from our life, however a residue or stain of the Original Sin remains with us, what is known as concupiscence.

The effects of this residue or stain are experienced primarily in our will, tending in the direction of a love of self rather than a love of God. A Companion to Food in the Ancient World. In this period Clement of Alexandria, St Jerome, and Tertullian make the mortification of the flesh by fasting and abstinence as a way to holiness. The Anointing and Power of the Holy Spirit.


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  • To this end the Word declares, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the Agent of the mortification of the sins of the flesh Rom. Calvin's Doctrine of The Christian Life. Wipf and Stock Publishers. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Raymond E. Brown, Ed. WCIU Press.

    Mortification in Roman Catholic teaching - Wikipedia

    A third factor Christians brought was their belief in Jesus' resurrection, and the certainty of their own eternal life. That made them willing to die for their faith. There are many stories of martyrs who, before death, won to the faith their persecutors or those that watched them die. Generation Transformed. Lucid Books. In A. Emperor Diocletian issued the first of many edicts to persecute Christians. When others began to see the Christians' devotion and willingness to die for their beiefs, they began to question their own lives. Even though there were an estimated 20, people killed in the persecution, Christianity grew.

    These men were willing to die to spread the message of Jesus. They experienced transformation and wanted others to do the same. Lutheran Publication Society. Penguin Books. Concordia Publishing House. Martin Luther: Justified by Grace. Graded Press. University Press Scholarship Online. Sign in. Not registered?

    Sign up. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Select Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Cooper Abstract Christianity is deeply interested in the living human body, since each body is a person, and each person a creature and image-bearer of God. More Christianity is deeply interested in the living human body, since each body is a person, and each person a creature and image-bearer of God. Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication.

    Print Save Cite Email Share. Show Summary Details. Subscriber Login Email Address. Library Card. View: no detail some detail full detail. Part One Flesh in Scripture and Tradition. Part Two Flesh in Philosophy and Life. End Matter Bibliography Index.

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