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Bible Search
Theology of the Body

taken from the Theology of the Body Institute http://www.theologyofthebody.net/

What is the Theology of the Body?

The 'Theology of the Body' is Pope John Paul II's integrated vision of the human person - body, soul, and spirit. As he explains, the physical human body has a specific meaning and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives:

  • Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it?
  • Why were we created male and female? Does it really matter if we are one sex or another?
  • Why were man and woman called to communion from the beginning? What does the marital union of a man and woman say to us about God and his plan for our lives?
  • What is the purpose of the married and celibate vocations?
  • What exactly is "Love"?
  • Is it truly possible to be pure of heart?
All of these questions and many more are answered in Pope John Paul II's 129 Wednesday audiences, which were given between the years 1979 and 1984. His reflections are based on Scripture (especially the Gospels, St. Paul and the Book of Genesis), and contain a vision of the human person truly worthy of man. John Paul II discusses who man was in the beginning, who he is now (after original sin), and who he will be in the age to come. He then applies this message to the vocations of marriage and celibacy, in preparation for the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

  

Click on the images below to order related books on John Paul II's Theology of the Body.

 


 

One of the most charismatic speakers on Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body is Christopher West.

Christopher West is a research fellow and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute. He is also one of the most sought after speakers in the Church today, having delivered more than 1000 public lectures on 4 continents, in 9 countries, and in over 150 American cities. His books – Good News About Sex & Marriage, Theology of the Body Explained, and Theology of the Body for Beginners – have become Catholic best sellers.

Christopher has also lectured on a number of prestigious faculties, offering graduate and undergraduate courses at St John Vianney Seminary in Denver, the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and Creighton University’s Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha. Hundreds of thousands have heard him on national radio programs and even more have seen him defending the faith on programs such as Scarborough Country, Fox and Friends, and At Large with Geraldo Rivera. Of all his titles, Christopher is most proud to call himself a devoted husband and father. He and his wife Wendy have five children and live in Lancaster County, PA.

 

 Excerpts from Christopher West's series on Theology of the Body.

 

To purchase this program on an audio CD along with other materials on Theology of the Body click here

 

The Church has many resouces available for an in-depth study of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.  For more information please see http://www.tobinstitute.org/default.asp


 

The "rich patrimony" of John Paul II's teaching "has not yet been assimilated by the Church. My personal mission is not to issue many new documents, but to ensure that his documents are assimilated."

Benedict XVI (Interview on John Paul II' s Legacy, October 16, 2005)
 
Pope John Paul II devoted the first major teaching project of his pontificate – 129 short talks between September of 1979 and November of 1984 – to providing a profoundly beautiful vision of human embodiment and erotic love. He gave this project the working title “theology of the body.”

George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II, calls this papal study of human sexuality “one of the boldest reconfigurations of Catholic theology in centuries” – a “theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences ...perhaps in the twenty-first century.” At this point the Pope’s vision of sexual love “has barely begun to shape the Church’s theology, preaching, and religious education.” But when it does, Weigel predicts, “it will compel a dramatic development of thinking about virtually every major theme in the Creed” (pp. 336, 343, 853).

Far from being a footnote in the Christian life, the way we understand the body and the sexual relationship “concerns the whole Bible” (TOB 69:8). It plunges us into “the perspective of the whole Gospel, of the whole teaching, even more, of the whole mission of Christ” (TOB 49:3). Christ’s mission, according to the spousal analogy of the Scriptures, is to “marry” us. He invites us to live with him in an eternal life-giving union of love.

This is what the union of the sexes is meant to proclaim and foreshadow – the eternal union of Christ and the Church. As St. Paul says, quoting from Genesis, “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church” (Eph 5:31-32).

By helping us understand this profound interconnection between sex and the Christian mystery, John Paul’s theology of the body not only paves the way for lasting renewal of marriage and the family; it enables everyone to rediscover “the meaning of the whole of existence, the meaning of life” (TOB 46:6).
 
 
Please Click Hereto view Pope John Paul's 129 Wednesday Audiences, which comprise his Theology of the Body.


*TOB Man and Woman He Created Then: A Theology of the Body, John Paul II's general audience addresses on Human Love in the Divine Plan, Michael Waldstein translation (Pauline, 2006)

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