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What Pregnancy Tells Us about Being Human
HARDCOVER; Published: 3/31/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7723-9
Price: $ 22.99
216 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Might pregnancy form women just as much as children?

When we talk about pregnancy, we too often end up talking clinically and sentimentally. Pregnancy is medical details and a whirl of emotions. It is vitamins and baby showers and feelings. But it is so much more. 

In Showing, Agnes Howard takes us beyond clinical reductionism and fluffy sentimentality to show us how to take pregnancy seriously as hard but important work. It is not just a bodily process, she argues, but an active work of care—one that underscores the generosity and mutual dependence we all require in order to live. It is an act of “radical hospitality” that shows us all what it means to be human. 

Howard delves into prenatal care literature from the Christian tradition to find images and vocabulary that elevate and honor pregnancy—not only for the benefit of expectant parents, but also their communities and the church. Taking pregnancy seriously does not entail viewing it as a woman’s only role or romanticizing it. Instead, Showing maintains that thinking well about pregnancy can help not only childbearing women but all who surround them understand how to live together more faithfully.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Pregnancy Is How We Got to Be Who We Are
Chapter 2: How We Used to Make Babies: Embryology, Midwifery, and American Birth
Chapter 3: Acting and Showing
Chapter 4: Protecting and Providing
Chapter 5: Pregnancy and the Practice of Virtues
Chapter 6: Pregnancy in Identity and Relationship
Conclusion: Pregnancy beyond Metaphor
The Christian Century
“When does ‘ensoulment’ of a fetus occur? What have we lost as we’ve allowed modern medicine to reign over our pregnant bodies? How does pregnancy at the same time incubate new life and change women? Howard considers these questions from an academic framework; yet, her artful prose makes the book accessible to any thoughtful reader interested in understanding pregnancy within the context of history and culture.”
The Living Church
“In order to reverse the goyish Gnosticism so prevalent in north American Christianity, we need to take Howard’s book seriously, and her suggestions for marking pregnancy with the kind of ritual importance that we give to death.”