78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2002
Pope John Paul II has given us one of the best (if not the best) books of modern theology today. This book is a compilation of many weekly addresses the Pope gave in the early 80's. Now compiled into this one work, we can view the absolute genius of the mind of Pope JPII. His insights into humanity, creation, the human person and the body are without equal. In fact, he may be known for this work more than any other when history judges him in the future. He has given the Church new insights into the dignity of the human person, marriage,... and made it challenging to all of us.
If you haven't read any of the Pope's writings, I suggest you start with his encyclicals, and study them hard, before jumping into this work. The Theology of the Body has already started several grass-roots evangelism projects and my guess is that we are only starting to see the fruit this book will bear.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Each Wednesday the Pope addresses a general audience at St. Peter's in Rome. This work brilliantly brings together all of Pope John Paul II's general audiences that comprise his "theology of the body."
Given between September 1979 and November 1984, these talks provide a thorough catechesis on the bodily dimension of human personhood, sexuality, and marriage in the ligh to Christ and biblical revelation.
As a whole, the work presents an insightful look at the meaning of the body. It is a much needed work for our troubled times. The appendix features the Encyclicals Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) and Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), and the Apostolic Letter On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2002
The Theology of the Body is comparable in depth of thought to the works of Augustine and Aquinas.
The writings speak to a reader at numerous levels: the personal, the organizational, global, sacramental, familial, paternal, maternal, fraternal, vocational, scriptural, anthropological and many others. The beauty is the integration of teachings at and across each level!
The teachings encapsulated within this work synthesize many truths about humanity and Catholic Christianity.
The book's writings shed light on the fullness of Truth revealed in and over the fullness of time. What was implied in the truth of the Gospel is revealed in a more explicit way in the Pope's analysis.
Topics of interest include: the dignity of the human person, the human body in art versus pornography, the intended relationship between man and woman from the beginning - in the present - and future, what the physical human body reveals about the nature of the person and God, the call to Chastity and Modesty, the universal call to holiness, the mystery of Body of Christ, the mystery of the priesthood, celibacy, and the mystery of the Eucharist and much, much more.
The book is a difficult read if you are not familiar with the Pope's method... but well worth it!!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2000
In conjunction with his "Love & Responsibility," Pope John Paul the Great's series of meditations expertly explains the foundational relationship between men and women with respect to marriage, sexuality and morality. Not only does he expound upon the theology of the body derived from Scripture, though, but also peripherally explains many other elements of Catholic interpretation of the Bible. His clear, concise wisdom touches on topics that include our covenantial relationship with God, living in the Spirit in relation to the Law, and the relative merits of celibacy and marriage, among many others. Theology of the Body is a "must read" for every Catholic, and could be valuable for anyone else as well.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2001
Those with a philosophical background may regard JPII's leaning toward phenomenology as either a peripheral "quirk" or a departure from traditional (i.e., Aristotelian-Thomist) realism. "Theology of the Body" should dissuade of either conclusion. JPII's approach to phenomenology is foundational to his celebration of human personhood, and totally realist and thus thoroughly compatible with traditional Christian philosophy. The theological significance of JPII's philosophical approach is clearly demonstrated in his phenomenological exegesis of the existential signficance of man's transition from "original solitude" (before Eve's creation) to "original nakedness" (Adam's encounter with Eve). JPII's meditation on how man's personal self-awareness - and thus his personhood - is fulfilled through the bodily disclosure of another person literally "fleshes out" the teaching of the universal Catechism: God is an eternal exchange of Love, in which man is destined to participate (CCC 221). I only regret that the Pope did not develop the analogy implicit in his meditation between the purely relational Personhood of the Blessed Trinity and the nuptial meaning of the human body.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2005
Theology of the Body (T.O.B) gives a dynamic vision of the human person. Pope John Paul discusses human sexuality, vocation (marriage, religious life,etc) through the lense of biblical revelation.
PJ II quotes Vatican II in saying that we are the only creatures on earth "that were willed for their own sake" (Lumen Gentium 26). All the other creatures were created for mankind. Humans were commanded to rule the other creatures.
I found T.O.B to be the best exegesis of Genesis. Truly brilliant and amazing. I was so inspired that I am devoting part of my next book on this very topic.
PJ II tells us that Adam and Eve didn't merely want to be equal with God but they sought to usurp their Creator. They were sharing in the love of God and so they weren't inferior to God. However they believed in the word of a creature over that of the Creator and thought they could take God's throne and take His power!
Yes it is a correlation between human sexuality and God. But it is even more than that. It is about the dignity of the Human Person and Psychosomatic Unity of the Human Person. In giving of ourselves so totally we discover who we are. This is what happened with Adam. He was alone and could not identify with the animals until Eve came from His rib (or as the late Pope puts it, his heart - wow!)
Pope John Paull II does not use the word "SEX" as contemporary society does. He uses it to refer to male or female. Personally I think the word "sex" depersonalises a sacred act. Let me explain. The Catholic Church uses the word Conjugal Union. This refers to a union of body and soul and open to the gift or trasmission of life. Ok, so it may be a mouthful, "Conjugal Union" and take a bit to get used to. Let me challenge you to learn it and use it in discussions. Another word used is "Conjugal Love" Doesn't this sound better than making love.
Through Conjugal love the husband gives himself totally body and soul to his wife and his wife gives herself totally body and soul to her husband.
Did you know that through the Eucharist we can receive Conjugal Love. Christ gives himself totally to us, "Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity!" Now this is a really big WOW! This is awesome, inspirational and mind-boggling. Christ unites with us in the Eucharist.
So yes, Conjugal Union is spiritual and so is receiving our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist!
I have a MP3 talk I've given on Theology of the Body which I can send you. It was a brief talk - only 10 minutes + questions given for a "Faith, Revelation and Theology" paper I have just finished studying at our Catholic Theological College. Email me through my website [...] and I will send the MP3 to you. My next book (my fourth) will feature explaining Theology of the Body for lay people.
I am really happy that more and more people are hearing about Theology of the Body and beginning re discover the richness and power behind the writings of Pope John Paul II. Let's continue to read His works and spread the messages he bestows.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2000
Although the general topic is theology of the body, this book contains most of John Paul II's teaching on the dignity and vocation of women, including Original "Unity of Man & Woman" and "Mulieris Dignitatem" (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women). "Pope John Paul II on the Genius of Women" (published by the United States Catholic Conference) makes a handy short companion volume. Don't miss out on this book. It's a fascinating read and a resource goldmine.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
If you want to understand Theology of the Body (TOB).... I recommend this book. "Human Love and the Divine Plan", I believe it is the version best suited for the beginner or for people who have no religious training. For a basic understanding of TOB this book is the "Ticket". I believe this version will more resonate with the general population.
The book is divided into parts. Part 1 contains two sections: A) Original Unity of Man and Woman - B) Blessed Are the Pure of Heart. Part 2 is called "Life According to the Spirit". Each lesson given by the John Paul the Great, in his general audience, is discussed in this version of TOB as a lesson. For example, TOB 1 is lesson 1, TOB 2 lesson 2 and so forth. The subject of each lesson is easily definable in the Table of Contents.
There are more than one version of TOB in print. "Human Love in the Divine Plan" is the earlier version and "Man and Woman He Created Them" is a later version. Both contain the same TOB message and are both good. However, the books visually present TOB differently and the sentence structure is a little different. Some of the words are also different, such as using lust vs. concupiscence respectively.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
The magnificence of being a child is innocence. Why did Moses allow for divorce among the people of his time? They were a stiff-necked people. If they were stiff-necked, we are presently in traction. Jesus tells the Pharisees they must look back to the way it was in the beginning for an answer to today's problems. Genesis is where Christ begins, where we are told of how it was in the beginning. Man was alone among the created things. God recognized his solitude, put him into a deep sleep, and out of one of his ribs created woman that they might share life together. This conjoining of man with woman is where human relationship began. It is through respect for Jesus, the other, and self that we grow in relationship for God and all created things. My love for Jesus grows each time I honestly choose to love the other as I love myself.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2011
The Sisters gave me optimal customer service on this purchase. I live in the US and wanted to give it to someone in Canada. I thought, why should I have it sent here and have me pay for more postage. So I contacted the sisters and they sent one to me and one to Canada and helped me save some money. Thank you! My book came in great shape and very quickly.