Theology of the Body

I’ve taken an 8 week course in this with a rather simple, straight-forward work book. Beyond that, I don’t know as much as I’d like to about it. I’ve just seen it referenced as some huge work that ‘nobody would want to wade through.’ As far as I know, there’s both the original work by JPII, and also a book in which JP’s thoughts are essentially written in an easier to read format for laymen. Can someone tell me the author of that work, but more importantly, what is the best online resource for people who want to read up on Theology of the Body?

Fr. Mike Schmitz, Diocese of Duluth Minnesota…Nobody better at putting it in layman terms!! Enjoy.

The REAL version is authored by none other than JPII himself (before he was Pope, though the Wednesday audiences during which he delivered the material were during his Papacy) and translated by whomever. Mine was translated by Michael Waldstein and he spends the first 127 pages or so explaining all the nuances and the background to both the translation and the philosophy of JPII that drove the “Theology of the Body”. I found it every bit worth wading through, and learned a great deal from it.

The remaining 532 pages are the Wednesday Audiences, 132 of them, through which this “Theology of the Body” was delivered. It can be a difficult read, but is VERY manageable if you pace yourself and take one audience at a time. I started doing just one per evening, and sometimes took a break for a couple days. But everyone learns better in different ways.

Here is the book, and the proper title is “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body”.

The most popular popularizer of JPII’s work is Christopher West. He has numerous books about the Theology of the Body including Theology of the Body for Beginners and Theology of the Body Explained.

West does have his fair share of critics, though.

As ahs said, it’s always good to go straight to the source. EWTN has all 129 audiences on their website. The book ahs linked to is the definitive English translation, though. So if you want to pick it up in book form, that would be the one to get. The translations in previous editions (as well as the ones online) are more of a hodge podge collection from a variety of sources. Waldstein’s edition has the advantage of all being translated by the same person.

Thank you, all!

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