Holy Anorexia

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, May 9, 2014 - Religion - 255 pages
Is there a resemblance between the contemporary anorexic teenager counting every calorie in her single-minded pursuit of thinness, and an ascetic medieval saint examining her every desire? Rudolph M. Bell suggests that the answer is yes.

"Everyone interested in anorexia nervosa . . . should skim this book or study it. It will make you realize how dependent upon culture the definition of disease is. I will never look at an anorexic patient in the same way again."—Howard Spiro, M.D., Gastroenterology

"[This] book is a first-class social history and is well-documented both in its historical and scientific portions."—Vern L. Bullough, American Historical Review

"A significant contribution to revisionist history, which re-examines events in light of feminist thought. . . . Bell is particularly skillful in describing behavior within its time and culture, which would be bizarre by today's norms, without reducing it to the pathological."—Mary Lassance Parthun, Toronto Globe and Mail

"Bell is both enlightened and convincing. His book is impressively researched, easy to read, and utterly fascinating."—Sheila MacLeod, New Statesman
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 Recognition and Treatment
1
2 I Catherine
22
3 The Cloister
54
4 Wives and Mothers
84
Ascent
114
Illustrations follow page 116
101
Decline
151
Epilogue
180
Notes
191
Bibliography
215
Sources for Figures
238
Index
241
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information