Document Type


Publication Date

January 2017


Practical Theology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Women's Studies


My mother died in 2008 at the age of 84 surrounded by her eight children and our father. As I turn 68, I wonder about the length of my own life and about how I will face my own death. In a feminist body-affirming theology, how do I embrace fear and my body in the death and dying process?At the bedside of hospice patients, I saw the gap in Christian feminist theology between affirming the body and embracing its decay. From these narratives, I suggest that what is needed is a Christian feminist approach to death and dying focused on connectivity. My hospice patients spoke about the divine through their connection to everyday life: relationships to friends, families, nature, music, art and memories of the dead. We often think that the body is dying, not the self. But the dying body contains our memories and identities. To experience the deep reality of the body/self dying is to intimately experience the living/dying cosmos.