Posted in Essay, Terri Stewart

Sacred Space in our Elder Bodies

Three weeks ago, I started exploring finding sacred space in our bodies. I took a brief look at the need for sacred space because of the large influence of Western Christianity on our society and the world. Additionally, the groundwork was laid for a holistic view of our bodies as sexual beings and the unity of being.

Part I, here

Part II, here

Today, the below video points to the issue of the elderly and body liberation. The team who created this, myself, Denise Ritthaler, and Bjorn Peterson, used scripture, quotes, images, factoids, and music to make the point for healing our body image and considering our bodies sacred space.

Again, what’s theology got to do with it?

  • Body/Spirit dualism allows objectification (Kelly Brown Douglas)
  • Objectification leads to disembodiment in the sense of our body as unholy other
  • When we are disembodied, we can no longer connect to creation (Sally McFague)
  • When we are disembodied, we can no longer connect to the other (Mayra Rivera)
  • When we are disembodied, we can no longer connect to the other within our self (extrapolated from Mayra Rivera)
  • We can neither connect to immanence nor transcendence

Without immanence (experiencing our bodies) or
transcendence (experiencing the other),
we lose our sense of sacred

And we become a befuddled mess. I hope that by experiencing the beauty and wisdom of aging presented here, you will rebel against popular imagery and embrace the holistic sense of the life cycle.

Can I get an Amen?

References are here.






I am a monk disguised as a passionate prophet. My true loves are God, family, and the creative arts. And maybe just a little bit of politics too. (PS My photo is by Eric Lyons Photography).

11 thoughts on “Sacred Space in our Elder Bodies

  1. A number of years ago, I had an awakening moment as I found myself intentionally walking off church property (identified sacred space) to smoke…hum…brings forth many questions about the blindness, negation, or ignorance of sacred space within self and others


    1. It is annoying to me that we ask non-smokers to entirely leave the campus in order to smoke. Although I don’t smoke, I think it is silly that we expect people to be nearly perfect at church.


  2. I work with a staff that is mostly comprised of people half my age. What I bring to the mix surprises me sometimes, but it is a valuable experience for all of us. Learning together creates sacred space, I think.


  3. A resounding “Amen!” … Terri, what a stunning and moving job you and your colleagues have done with this video. Tears. Much truth here. Nicely done. Thank you.


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