The Body in Luke-Acts

I’ve been working my way through Luke-Acts for a research project related to the Bible and disabilities. In so doing, I’ve been struck by the extent to which Luke is concerned with bodies. Time and again, Luke stresses the physical, corporeal nature of human existence, and God’s concern for us as embodied beings. 

If you’d like a good book on the topic, I recommend Mikeal C. Parsons’ Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity

Physiognomy is the practice–which was quite common among the ancients–of linking physical appearance and character. In other words, you could draw conclusions about a person’s character by observing his or her appearance. Sound strange? It has a long history, and still carries (normally unacknowledged) currency today.