Theology of the Body 

"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

The Theology Of The Body According To St. John Paul II

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

"Marriage is an original gift from God to humanity. Although sin entered the world damaging the marital relationship, this gift was not lost but redeemed by Christ and raised to a sacrament (see Eph. 5:28-32; see also Mtt. 19:4-6). Sacred Scripture proclaims that God created humanity in 'His image' as 'male and female' (see Gen. 1:27). So unique is this relationship that the marital union makes of the husband and wife 'one flesh' (Gen. 2:24). Procreation, Scripture teaches, is a gift from God (Gen. 1:28). When spouses conceive new life, they participate in the Lord God's creative power. This is an awesome privilege and sacred responsibility!"

- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

USCCB Resources

Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan
This Pastoral Letter on marriage was approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2009. It provides a summary of Church teaching on marriage as a natural institution and as a sacrament.

Married Love and the Gift of Life     |     En Español
This document of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops summarizes Church teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood in an easy to read question and answer format. 

TOB Resources:

Theology of the Body (USCCB)
Text of Theology of the Body addresses delivered by Pope John Paul II

TOBET - Theology of the Body Evangelization Team
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.

Theology of the Body for Teens
Theology of the Body for Teens presents the two hottest topics on the planet – God and sex – and "marries" them through Pope John Paul II's compelling vision for love and life.  Includes videos, sample curricula, an online store and much more.
Website of noted Theology of the Body speaker Christopher West.  Many resources, books, articles, and downloads are available. 

Theology of the Body Institute 
Offers courses, a certification program, a clergy enrichment program, speakers for events, and online resources.

Theology of the
Website dedicated to the promotion of the Pope's revolutionary and life-transforming message of hope that counteracts societal trends.