Man, whom God created male and female, bears the divine image imprinted on his body ‘from the beginning.’ Man and woman constitute two different ways of the human ‘being a body’ in the unity of that image. - TOB January 2, 1980
By Professor John S. Grabowski, Department of Theology, Catholic University of America
When John Paul II was elevated to the papacy, he unveiled a series of reflections on which he had worked for some time. He gave these in the form of weekly general audiences between 1979 and 1984. These talks became known as “The Theology of the Body” and have had a growing impact on Christian thinking about what it means to be embodied as male or female.
Reflecting on the Genesis accounts of creation, Pope John Paul II underscored the way in which the body reflects or expresses the person. The human person discovers his dignity through his body and its capacity to express his ability to think and to choose, unlike the animals, who lack this ability. (See Genesis 2:19-21.)
Yet humanity is radically lacking in its expression in only one sex. The full meaning of the body and hence the human person is revealed only when the man stands over against another unique way of being human–woman. This distinctive way of being a person and a gift for others, male and female, reflects what the late pope called “the nuptial meaning of the body.” Coming together in the profound partnership of marriage, man and woman live for the other in mutual love and deference. This union is expressed concretely in the couple’s bodily gift of themselves to one another in sexual intercourse. Here they speak a profound language of total self-gift and unconditional fidelity. Continue reading
Text of Theology of the Body addresses delivered by Pope John Paul II
The Theology of the Body Evangelization Team is a Dallas-based group of young adults that have dedicated themselves to spreading Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
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