Loving What Doesn't Last

An Adoration of the Body

Christina Kukuk

Oct/2021, 128 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640654112

For all who inhabit a body and wonder about its place in the universe.

Through lyric essays and poetry, Christina Kukuk finds the spiritual in the most material bodily experiences: a twenty-one-year-old heroin addict, the mother who plants an orchard in his memory, a girl’s tumble through food scarcity, an adolescent awakening to infatuation at summer camp, and a woman waiting hours for her lover’s recovery on a hospital’s transplant floor. Earthy and divine, funny at times, these pages invite readers into an adoration of the body—birth, food, love, pain, death, and water become skin-wrapped windows into the holy.

CHRISTINA KUKUK has been an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ for more than fifteen years. A writer and pastor now living in Oregon, Christina attended journalism school at Kent State University and worked as a business reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio. Since then, her freelance work has appeared in numerous publications.

“Down and occasionally dirty, poetic and stirring, very funny, very painful, and very poignant, Loving What Doesn’t Last plunges us into the odd ecstasy of a faith attached unreservedly to human flesh, for better, for worse, for glory.”
—Mary Luti, United Church of Christ pastor, professor of Christian history and worship (retired), Andover Newton Theological School, now Andover Newton Seminary at Yale

“Though the Christian faith has at its center an embodied Christ, it hardly has a history of adoring the body. In this gorgeously written, compassionate, and refreshingly honest book, Christina Kukuk has done a great deal to redeem that historical lack.”
—Debbie Blue, author of Sensual Orthodoxy and Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to the Birds of the Bible

“These searching reflections of a pastor opening herself to the vulnerability of others and to her own vulnerability by being present to the flesh deepen our understanding of what it means to say, ‘God with us, God among us.’”
—Mary Lane Potter, author of A Woman of Salt

“Christina Kukuk’s book is a guide to helping us find ways to be more embodied in our faith lives, not just for our own sakes but for the body of humankind as well. Poignant and thoughtful, this is a book to help guide and accompany the reader.”
—Kaya Oakes, author of The Defiant Middle

“This book is medically accurate, deeply thought-provoking, and wonderfully entertaining. I’ll be recommending it to my medical students and my patients.”
—Michael P. Schaefer, MD, Division Chief, PM&R, Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospitals Cleveland, Associate Professor of Orthopedics, Case Western Reserve University


  • Incarnation
  • death and dying
  • trauma
  • organ donation
  • ethics
  • addiction
  • caregiving

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