Body Becoming

A Path to Our Liberation

Body Becoming

A Path to Our Liberation

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The body that Robyn Henderson-Espinoza inhabits is a nonbinary body, a trans body, a body in two races--and a body continually in discovery. Theirs is also a body on sojourn invested in experience, body understanding, and engagement in and for human thriving. Henderson-Espinoza relates coming into a new body story, beginning with the deep emotional work of connecting the abstract intelligence of their mind with their body's intelligence, to explore the relationship between living and becoming, doing and listening.

Combining that deep listening and living with their work in activism, Body Becoming offers us a way of understanding the body beyond constructions--political or medical-industrial-complex defined--toward cultivating the body as important in our endeavors to build a more inclusive vision for democracy. Mixing memoir and faith, somatics theory and body practice, Henderson-Espinoza steers us through territory both familiar and difficult--as we discover embodiment as the primary place of deep wisdom, where culture shifts originate and materialize--and a better world becomes, as we too become.


"In Body Becoming: A Path to Our Liberation, Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza does remarkable work in translating so many of the fears of marginalized folks directly related to how our bodies are perceived in wider society. Their focus on the complexity of presentation reveals a critical truth to readers who may be new to these conversations: that there is ultimately no way our bodies can be hidden from the bigotry that targets our existence. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is essential reading for anyone hoping to engage in a good-faith effort to dismantle systems of oppression."

--Charlotte Clymer, transgender activist, military veteran, press secretary

"Robyn Henderson-Espinoza's Body Becoming is pure gift. The story and wisdom of this nonbinary, transgender, Latinx theologian on the autistic spectrum presses squarely into the center of what it means to be embodied. In Body Becoming, Henderson-Espinoza takes readers along on their journey to understand, accept, and embrace embodied living. We all need this book. And in the midst of the COVID pandemic, we are ready for it. Get this book."

--Lisa Sharon Harper, president and founder of Freedom Road and author of The Very Good Gospel and Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and The World--and How to Repair It All

"Robyn Henderson-Espinoza has written a brave, intellectually astute, and artistic book in Body Becoming. In a time when so much of theological exploration devalues the body and destroys it, Henderson-Espinoza takes seriously the word that we must have life and life in its fullness. It is theory. It is poetry. It is love. It is witness. Somehow Robyn has created theological beauty that has learned how to witness and celebrate and embrace and make whole. This book is more than a freedom journal or active theology--it is a prayer, a sermon, and a love note to so many people trying to get free."

--Danté Stewart, author of Shoutin' in the Fire: An American Epistle

"The disembodied nature of modern society offers both personal and societal peril. In Body Becoming, Dr. Robyn holds these two perspectives in balance, offering the reader a bridge from knowing their body to making room for everyone else to do the same. This book is both life-changing and world-changing at once."

--Mike McHargue, host of Science Mike, cohost of The Liturgists, and author of You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass): Embracing the Emotions, Habits, and Mystery That Made You You

"Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza's body is a vast terrain of storied longings, traumatic memories, and troubling tensions. You would think that they would want to do everything to get away from it, to renounce it. Instead, by embracing this intelligent territory, they redeem it from its significatory internment as a fait accompli, electing instead to think alongside Deleuzo-Guattarian philosophies, relational cosmologies, liberation theologies, and the soft secretions of their own compelling narratives of struggle and emergence to weave an account of the body that is simultaneously strange, emancipatory, and--yes--joyful. I might be so bold as to prophesy that by the time you are done reading Robyn's book, you'd walk past the mirror to look outside the window--just to catch a glimpse of your face."

--Bayo Akomolafe, executive director and chief curator of the Emergence Network and author of These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home

"Body Becoming: A Path to Our Liberation is an eye-opening, powerful book. In sharing honestly about their own understandings of their body and detailing the wisdoms and challenges they've encountered while blazing a new path toward embodiment, Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza tracks, deconstructs, and reframes humanity's relationships with our bodies. Vulnerable, provocative, and freeing, Body Becoming will help you see your body like never before and will empower a deep connection with the living, breathing entity that is you."

--Matthew Paul Turner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Is God Like? and When God Made You

"Even before the Spanish mystic Teresa of Ávila reminded us that Christ has no body on earth but ours, embodiment has been a core reality of Christian spirituality--but it's confounding how many forces conspire to keep us alienated from our own bodies and from each other's. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza writes vulnerably and powerfully to invite us all to make the necessary reconnections with our bodies, with one another, with God, so that we may truly embody justice, freedom, and democracy. Their vision is a vision of hope, truth, healing, and love. Read this book, and join the revolution!"

--Carl McColman, author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality and Eternal Heart: The Mystical Path to a Joyful Life


"A master course on understanding every body."

Spirituality and Practice

"Henderson-Espinoza argues for the importance of being present within one's body as a starting place for approaching society and religion."

U.S. Catholic

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506473574
  • eBook ISBN 9781506473581
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 236
  • Publication Date March 29, 2022