A Catholic author and Franciscan alumna spoke to students about overcoming disordered eating through a better understanding of theology on March 4 in the Gentile Gallery.
Emily Chapman spoke to students about her struggle with anorexia. Chapman explained how God’s love and the realization that her “most intimate relationship with Jesus is when I eat him” helped her overcome her eating disorder.
Through the reading of Catholic theologians and philosophers such as C.S. Lewis and Joseph Pieper, Chapman came to the conclusion that food was a gift from God. Instead of seeing food as a bad thing, she saw how God showed his love for man through food.
Chapman shared her own testimony of her battle with anorexia and how it was a form of maintaining control for her.
She went on to describe how Pope St. John Paul II’s theology of the body played an important role in her recovery. It taught her that her body was an image of God and that she did not have to “control her body, but care for it.”
Amongst many mentions of her favorite foods, Chapman recounted her story of how faith and learning taught her to love her body and food as gifts from God.
Brigid Williams, senior, said that Chapman’s talk was “beautiful, eye-opening and helpful in teaching how to be there for those who struggle.”
Another participant, who wished to remain anonymous, said she liked how Chapman was “honest about her story and tied in the Catholic standpoint.”
Chapman’s talk was put on by Residence Life and the Wellness Center. Chapman’s books “The Catholic Table” and “These Beautiful Bones” are available in the Franciscan University Bookstore.