Bodies Become Us
For most of my life, I have attended churches that observe the seasons of the liturgical calendar. Easter was my favorite part of the year by far—I loved seeing colors return to our sanctuary and to the congregants’ attire. Even a rainy Easter was a time of joy and excitement in our community.
Due to its spare and serious character, it took me a lot longer to appreciate Lent, the season of observation and prayer leading up to Easter. Gradually, I learned to see what the solemnity added to the joy. Church seemed like so much programming for most of the year, but Lent offered a sustained occasion for practicing mindfulness and accountability when making small, otherwise unremarkable choices. Arriving at Easter and breaking the fast may have been my main objective as a child, but today I appreciate the instructiveness and beauty of the season more and more.
As the 2017 Lenten season starts anew amid a turbulent backdrop politically and ecologically, I am especially thankful for the written labors of our contributors in illustrating the contradictions and complexities of our corporeality, especially as experienced in the question-rich locations of the church community and the lab. Throughout this edition of God & Nature magazine, the vicissitudes of human life and the salience of our embodiment are presented as intriguing, problematic, and provocative aspects of the Christian experience. Please read and share!
~Emily Herrington, editor
Emily Ruppel is a PhD student in communication at the University of Pittsburgh, with focus areas in rhetoric of science, bioethics, STS, feminist theory, and oral history.
Prior to her doctoral work, Emily studied poetry at Bellarmine University in Louisville (B.A. '08) and science writing at MIT (M.S. '11). She has spent several years working as a professional writer and editor for academic and popular outlets; among them, God & Nature magazine is a favorite project.