Starving For Salvation The Spiritual Dimensions of Eating Problems Among American Girls and Women


At present, doctors and psychiatrists are professing their inability to develop theoretical approaches that lead to effective clinical methods to help women suffering from eating disorders. Michelle Lelwica puts forward a hypothesis that has both theoretical and clinical implications. She identifies eating disorders as a specifically religious problem and contends that it can be addressed with religious resources. She argues that the remnants of religious legacies that have historically effaced the diversity and complexity of women's spiritual yearnings and struggles are alive and well under the guise of a host of "secular" practices, pictures and promises. Until these legacies are recognized, contested and changed, she predicts, many girls and women will continue to turn to the symbolic and ritual resources most readily available to them - food and their bodies - in a passionate but precarious quest for freedom and fulfillment.

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