"The Theology of the Body is a
theological time-bomb set to go off with
dramatic consequences ... perhaps in the
George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope
Is true love possible? How should we love -- and
what is the role of sexuality? For many today,
the answers to such questions are sought in
television programs like "Desperate Housewives".
Yet, all too often, our culture only distorts
the true meaning of human sexuality ... and it
is not "desperation" -- but "hope" that is the
deepest longing of the human soul.
To truly answer the above questions, a bold and
clear vision of human sexuality is needed ...
one that provides sure guidance and does not ask
us to compromise our integrity (or that of
others). Such a vision of human sexuality would
have to surpass the distortions of love from our
culture -- and offer real wisdom on our deepest
"Theology of the Body" is such a vision of true
human freedom -- and so much more. It does not
ask us to simply "hope for the best", to offer
or accept empty promises, or to live in
desperation or shame. Rather, Theology of the
Body offers a practical and intelligent
"roadmap" in regard to human loving --
especially as it concerns marriage
relationships, sexuality and family life. It is
an integrated vision of the total human person -
body and soul.
As Pope, John Paul II dedicated his first major
teaching project to sexuality and the dignity of
the human person. He called the project
Theology of the Body and delivered it in 129
short talks in Rome, between 1979 to 1984.
Because the Holy Father offered it as catechesis
at his Wednesday audiences, they are not
intended as merely his private thought, but as
key teachings for the entire Church -- and for
the entire world.
As John Paul II explained, our physical bodies
have profound meaning and reveal to us the truth
of who we really are, and what we were created
for. When Jesus was asked, "Why did Moses allow
for divorce?" He begins His response by saying
that "in the beginning" it was not so. With
these words, John Paul II takes us back to the
beginning of human reality in Genesis, to help
us re-discover the true meaning of human love
and sexuality ... and to give and receive love
in true freedom.
George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The
Biography of Pope John Paul II, calls
Theology of the Body: "a theological
time-bomb set to go off with dramatic
consequences ... perhaps in the twenty-first
On this webpage you will find resources, events
and links to find out more about TOB ... and
The following are
recommended resources for learning about
Theology of the Body.
For beginners ...
you have heard about Theology of the Body but
are new to it, you may want to begin with the
following excellent resource by Mary Healy:
Men & Women are from Eden: A Study Guide to John
Paul IIís Theology of the Body (Cincinnati,
Servant, 2005). Also recommended is "Theology of
the Body for Beginners" by Christopher
West (West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, 2004).
Both are short and very readable introductions.
New edition of
Theology of the Body now available ...
In October, 2006, a revised version of John Paul
II's Theology of the Body was made available.
Dr. Michael Waldstein, a distinguished professor
of Scripture and Theology completed the new
translation that is clearer and truer to the
original catechesis given by the Pope. It also
contains a 150-page Introduction. Purchase the
Theology of the Body
and Teens ...
The Theology of the Body is a new
understanding of the human person and Godís plan
for humanity that is founded upon Scripture and
the teachings of the Church. It takes us beyond
the "thou shall nots" we often associate with
Christianity to a fresh, new approach to the
gift of human sexuality. It is an excellent
resource for small group discussion (e.g. youth
group) and is available as a workbook, along
with a leader's guide.
An online version of the original translation of
the text is available. The EWTN Library contains
all 129 addresses of the Theology of the Body.
07/28/2010 - 7/30/2010 The National
Theology of the Body Congress
will be the most expansive gathering of
experts and popularists in the history of
this extraordinary teaching. Held in the
Philadelphia area from July 28-30, 2010 and
hosted by The
Theology of the Body Institute,
the worldís leading experts and members of
the Church hierarchy will gather to teach
and network with educators, activists and
devotees to apply this teaching to many
facets of the Catholic Faith and everyday
here for more information.
Want your parish to
more actively promote Theology of the Body?
Let your parish priest
know about our TOB Resource Page for Clergy
Related Writings of John Paul II
The following documents complement the Holy
Father's teaching in Theology of the Body:
(The Gospel of Life). Boston: Pauline,
(The Role of the Christian Family in the
Modern World). Boston: Pauline, 1981.
(On the Dignity and Vocation of Women).
Boston: Pauline, 1998.
Letter to the Bishops
(On the Collaboration of Men and Women in
the Church and in the World)
(The Redeemer of Man). Boston:
(The Splendor of Truth). Boston:
Love and Responsibility
(Revised edition. H.T. Willets,
trans. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1993.) Buy it
Good News About Sex and Marriage: Answers to
Your Honest Questions about Catholic Teaching.
Cincinnati: Servant Books, 2004 (revised
edition). A clear, honest and readable
presentation of Catholic beliefs about
sexuality, including a number of sensitive
Healy, Mary. Men & Women are from Eden: A
Study Guide to John Paul IIís Theology of the
Body. Cincinnati, Servant, 2005.
Hogan, Richard M. and John M. Levoir.
Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on
Sexuality, Marriage and Family in the Modern
World. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1992.
Shivanandan, Mary. Crossing the Threshold of
Love: A New Vision of Marriage. Washington:
Catholic University of America Press, 1999.
Check out this link to hear some audio clips of
Christopher West on the theology of the body:
the Body/John Paul II Bibliographies
Resources on the Web
Gaudium et Spes
(The Pastoral Constitution on the Church
in the Modern World). Boston: Pauline, 1965.
Information, books, tapes, CDís by Christopher
West, a leading voice on Theology of the Body (TOB).
National and international support and
assistance for those promoting the theology of
the body. Includes books, materials, and
conference tapes and CDís.
Resources on the Holy Father, Pope John Paulís
writings especially his book, Love and
Responsibility, and the Theology of the
Body. Also contains an excellent Bibliography on
John Paul II.
The official site of the Pope John Paul II
Institute for Studies in Marriage & Family in
Washington, D.C., the American branch of
the program of theological studies Pope
John Paul II founded in Rome at the beginning of
his pontificate. The faculty, staff, students,
and alumni are devoted to the ongoing study and
integration of the rich anthropological,
systematic, biblical, philosophical and moral
theology rooted in the Person of Jesus Christ.
God of Desire brings good news about Godís plan
for love, sex, and relationships, in a way that
is relevant to modern people everywhere,
especially for young adults.
A site devoted to promoting the work of Fr.
Adian Nichols and a number of other highly
respected Catholic intellectuals.
***Webpage under construction.
Please be sure to check back frequently for more