Theology of the Body

by Pope John Paul II

Here is the best link I have found to date for the actual text of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body :

If you have any technical concerns, including broken links and translation problems, please do not hesitate to let me know by email at .

All my animation seems to be of the same intention as the late Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body !

This is somewhat by coincidence and therefore very reassuring to me.

Marriage is more sacred than you ever imagined!!

The HESUS JOY CHRIST animation, and the animation entitled HYPOTHERMIA / My Kayak Prayer, appear to be of the same intention as the late Pope's articulation of marriage and the church.

Any discussion of how the animation relates to the late Pope's work will be posted here from time to time. I have read some of the work by Christopher West that promotes the late Pope's work to a popular lay audience.

Below are two links for further information :

Theology of the body TEXT REFERENCES 2011-09-26



Man and Woman He Created Them

A Theology of the Body

John Paul II

Translation, Introduction, and Index by Michael Waldstein

Copyright © 1986, 2006, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 00120 Citta del Vaticano, for the original catechetical texts of John Paul II and the then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.

The texts may be found on the Vatican website

Pauline Books & Media, 50 Saint Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA, 02130-3491


FREE audio recordings of Christopher West's presentations see below ->

Mary Foundation


Theology of the Body for Beginners

A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II's Sexual Revolution

Christopher West

Revised edition based on the new translation of the Theology of the Body.

Copyright © 2004, 2009 Christopher West

Published by Ascension Press, P.O. Box 1990, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19380, U.S.A.

Orders : 1-800-376-0520


Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Having listened to the recording of Christopher West's presentation, called Marriage and the Eucharist , distributed by the Mary Foundation, listed above; it seems to me that The Theology of the Body does not go far enough, at least on one point.

Christopher West states that a spouse is not able to carry the full weight of God put upon them by the other spouse, and that this would break the spouse with the weight of such a burden. I would argue, rather, that Christ calls us to take up our crosses and follow Him, to our own death and resurrection, and the most fruitful place to apply the teachings and efforts of following Christ is in the marriage relationship. Sure, such a burden, as putting the full weight of a God on someone, will break a spouse, as it broke Jesus, but we are called to follow Him as Peter and Paul and Stephen did, yet there will be a resurrection if we are true to God, and this resurrection will take place in marriage as well, when one spouse forgives the other and carries on with them, despite the cost, as the reward will warrant such a choice. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- © R David Foster 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

current RANT as of the winter of 2008

When you look to the stars, you are likely to trip on a stone. Seeking the divine in the world can make you a candidate for the psychiatrist's couch.

The Layman's Guide to MARRIAGE

I can not keep silent about this topic any longer. Marriage is a spiritual union - no more and no less. It is blessed by the church when it is witnessed by the spouses to exist. The spirit comes first, then the material, then the eternal. A person is spirit first from the first cause known as " I AM ". They are expressed in the material of the body, of either gender. The material world imposes a cultural gender on the person which they may accept or reject. The legal world imposes ordinances which may be accepted or rejected and are changeable.

The union of the whole and part is essential to all existence whether material, spiritual or eternal. An imbalance in this union set existence into motion and will continue until the end of time. TO BRING SOMETHING INTO EXISTENCE, A UNION OF WHOLE AND PART MUST TAKE PLACE. All that exists is directed to either the whole or the part as a result of the motion of existence. This is expressed in the physical gender of a person but can be overcome by determined free will.

The church, a spiritual institution, in the material world, seeking the eternal, blesses the union of whole and part as identified by and alive in Christ and the church. The spiritual union of whole and part found in the marriage of a man and a woman is a great spiritual resource. It influences all that encounter it, whether society, persons, or the world. It is this union that the church wishes to honour, protect and nurture in the sacrament of marriage.

Marriage as a legal institution is a contract between two parties uniting resources, assets and investments, whether people, places or things. It is not concerned with anything spiritual although at times it is concerned with emotional hangups. For the good of society the family unit can be argued to necessarily be a balance whole and part. This would encourage marriage between a man and a women. However, many marriages are nothing but tools in an endeavor while many gay and lesbian marriages are spiritual unions of whole and part. As a legal institution I see no reason to allow marriage to be used as a material tool while being denied to true spiritual unions of whole and part. I would like to see the church restrict the sacrament of marriage to verified undeniable spiritual unions by testing the witness of the spouses, and disregarding any legal union that may follow.

A true spiritual union of one man and one woman will one day exist between a man and a woman, at the end of time when a perfect balance of whole and part comes into existence. Marriage is a vocation serving Christ. Marriage is not a perpetuation of the imperfect balance found in procreation and the inflation of the population. Children are the hope of tomorrow and acknowledgment of the failings of today.

The church is only trying to use material purposes, procreation, to justify a spiritual union between man and woman, part and whole, in a material, legal, world. I am disappointed by this argument although I agree with the conclusion. There is little more fundamental than gender and therefore a fundamental spiritual union of whole and part can only be between a man and a woman, ALTHOUGH ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT PHYSICAL GENDER IS FUNDAMENTAL. The eternal soul, if it has not gender, can find spiritual union anywhere - in fraternity, sorority, nature, endeavor, procreation.


written in the winter of 2008

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Today I finally finished reading the 130 or so pages of the introduction to Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II . So I continued on into the actual text.

The actual text, although written before Karol Wojtyla (? I hope that's the correct spelling) became Pope John Paul II, was presented by Pope John Paul II as a series of weekly Wednesday addresses in St. Peter's Square in Rome from September 5th, 1979, to Novermber 28th, 1984, with a break in 1981 from the 13th of May until the 4th of November, when he was shot and recovered.

I began, today, reading the first address, made on Wednesday, September 5th, 1979, exactly 33 years to the day that Pope John Paul II presented it !


Here is a link to the entire text as presented to the Wednesday General Audiences:


Here is a link to my reference to Theology of the Body on my website :


Here, courtesy of, is a peek inside my copy of Michael Waldstein's translation.

( I probably got my copy from around 2005, and have only begun to attempt to read it. It's just like being back in University, but way cheaper !! )

Here is the link to :

“The publication of this new translation of John Paul II’s extraordinary catechesis on Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body is almost as important an event as its appearance in English for the first time in 1981. Not only is it an accurate, consistent translation from the official Italian text, but it reintroduces the author’s own original emphases. It clears up the confusion caused by indiscriminate use of words such as ‘lust’ for ‘desiderio’ and ‘concupiscenza,’ mistranslations that have gravely obscured key aspects of the redemption of the body. Above all, through research in the papal archives and recourse to John Paul II himself, Waldstein has supplied the original headings from the Polish edition, which enable the reader to grasp the work’s structure as a whole and the integration of its parts. Waldstein’s introduction is, in its own right, a significant contribution to the thought of John Paul II. Scholar and lay reader alike have reason to be profoundly grateful.”

—Mary Shivanandan, S.T.D.

Professor of Theology, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

“Professor Michael Waldstein’s new translation of the audiences given by Pope John Paul II on the theology of the body is absolutely superb. I have worked with the text over the past two and a half decades and compared the existing English translation with the Italian. I discovered many inconsistencies in the existing translation. Waldstein has given us a text faithful to the original and extremely helpful.”

—William E. May

Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology, Professor of Theology, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

“[Michael Waldstein’s introduction] is nothing less than stunning in its completeness, insight, and integrating power. I have rarely read a text with such pleasure! It modestly puts itself in the service of an introduction to the papal text, but could stand by itself as an interpretive monograph of the scope and depth of John Paul II’s thought—not only in regard to the express topic, but more generally. Indeed, it articulates a quite general critique of the ‘depersonalized’ character of much of modern thought while at the same time formulating a positive understanding of the human person, and precisely regarding the role of the human body.”

—Kenneth Schmitz

Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto John Paul II

Man and Woman: He Created Them

John Paul II

Man and Woman: He Created Them

A Theology of the Body

Translation, Introduction, and Index by Michael Waldstein

Nihil Obstat: William E. May, Ph.D.

Imprimatur: His Eminence Seán Cardinal O’Malley, OFM, Cap.

Archbishop of Boston

August 10, 2006

Library of Congress information on file.

ISBN-10 Print: 0-8198-7421-3

ISBN-10 eBook: 0-8198-4874-3

ISBN-13 eBook: 978-0-8198-4874-1

Cover design by Rosana Usselmann

Cover art: Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564). The Sistine Chapel; ceiling frescoes after restoration. The Creation of Adam. Sistine Chapel, Vatican Palace, Vatican State. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY.

Note on the cover art: In the Sistine Chapel’s The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, we see that as God looks down at the passage of energy from his right arm through his index finger into Adam’s left hand, he affectionately holds Eve under his other arm, her left hand resting gently above his wrist with her index finger slightly raised. Though she is still only an idea in God’s mind, her eyes are intensely fixed on the eyes of Adam, who turns toward God’s face and returns her look.

Reproduction of John Paul II’s handwritten instructions for the theology of the body provided through the courtesy of Fr. Jan Głowczyk, director of the John Paul II Archives, Dom Polski, Rome.

Quotations from the works of St. John of the Cross excerpted from The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, copyright © 1991 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites. ICS Publications, 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002-1199 U.S.A.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.

“P” and PAULINE are registered trademarks of the Daughters of St. Paul.

For this revised printing, the English translation of the Italian text has been checked against the original Polish text. Thanks are due to Grzegorz Ignatik for his painstaking work.

Copyright © 1986, 2006, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 00120 Città del Vaticano, for the original catechetical texts of John Paul II and the then Cardinal Karol Wojtyła. The texts may be found on the Vatican website:

Introduction, index, and translator’s notes accompanying text © 2006, Michael Waldstein

Edition copyright © 2006, 1997, Daughters of St. Paul

Published by Pauline Books & Media, 50 Saint Paul’s Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3491.

Pauline Books & Media is the publishing house of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation of women religious serving the Church with the communications media.


John Paul II’s Instructions for the Theology of the Body

Foreword by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn

Preface by Christopher West

Introduction by Michael Waldstein

1. The Text

a. Textual Basis

b. Translation

c. Literary Genre, Intended Audience, and Authority

d. Reading of Scripture

2. Wojtyła’s Carmelite Personalism

a. Gaudium et Spes 24:3, and the Sanjuanist Triangle

b. Wojtyła’s Encounter with St. John of the Cross

c. The Sanjuanist Triangle in Detail

3. Wojtyła and Kant

a. Bacon, Descartes, and a New Subjectivity

b. Kant’s Anti-Trinitarian Personalism

c. Kant and John Paul II on Sex and Marriage

4. Wojtyła and Scheler

a. Scheler’s Essentialist Personalism

b. Wojtyła’s Critique of Scheler

5. An Overview of Wojtyła’s Concerns

a. Wojtyła’s Seven Major Works

b. Faith, Experience, and Personal Subjectivity

c. The Trinitarian Nucleus of the Council

6. The Purpose of the Theology of the Body

a. Why Theology “of the Body” in Particular?

b. Why Humanae Vitae in Particular?

7. Structure and Argument

a. The Overall Structure

b. Alternate Structures

c. The Structure in Detail

d. The Main Argument

e. A Guiding Star for Reading TOB

Part One: The Words of Christ

Chapter One: Christ Appeals to the “Beginning”

1. What Is Meant by “Beginning”?

Approaching Genesis

First Account of the Creation of Man

Second Account of the Creation of Man

The Perspective of the “Redemption of the Body” (Rom 8:23)

2. The Meaning of Original Solitude

A Twofold Context

Man in Search of His Essence

Solitude and Subjectivity

Solitude and the Meaning of the Body

The Alternative between Death and Immortality

3. The Meaning of Original Unity

The Unity of the Two

Dimensions of Homogeneity

“Communion of Persons”

“Flesh from My Flesh” (Gen 2:23)

The Unity of Becoming “One Flesh”

4. The Meaning of Original Nakedness

Introductory Observations about Genesis 2:25

Shame—A “Boundary” Experience

Attempted Reconstruction

Participation in the Visibility of the World

The Inner Dimension of Vision

Intimacy—The Hidden Meaning of Vision

5. Man in the Dimension of Gift

A. The Spousal Meaning of the Body

Creation as Giving

Giving and Man

Gift—Mystery of a Beatifying Beginning

Discovery of the “Spousal” Meaning of the Body

“Freedom of the Gift”—Foundation of the Spousal Meaning of the Body

The “Spousal Character” of the Body and the Revelation of the Person

The Spousal Meaning of the Body as the Fruit of Rootedness in Love

B. The Mystery of Original Innocence

Gift to the Human Heart

Original Innocence and Consciousness of the Spousal Meaning of the Body

Innocence at the Foundation of the Exchange of the Gift

Exchange of the Gift—Interpretation of Genesis 2:25

Theology of Original Innocence

The Root of the Ethos of the Human Body

The Foundation of the Primordial Sacrament—The Body as Sign

6. “Knowledge” and Procreation (Gen 4:1)

Between Poverty of Expression and Depth of Meaning

“Knowledge” as Personal Archetype

Fatherhood and Motherhood as the Human Meaning of “Knowledge”

Knowledge and Possession

Knowledge Stronger than Death

7. [Conclusion: An Integral Vision]

Chapter Two: Christ Appeals to the Human Heart

1. In the Light of the Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:27–28—“Whoever Looks to Desire…”

Matthew 5:27–28—Ethical Meaning

Matthew 5:27–28—Anthropological Meaning

Matthew 5:27–28 Indicates a Further Dimension

2. The Man of Concupiscence

A. The Meaning of Original Shame

Casting Doubt on the Gift

Man Alienated from Original Love

Change in the Meaning of Original Nakedness

“Immanent” Shame

Sexual Shame

B. Insatiability of the Union

Corruption of the Consciousness of the Unitive Meaning of the Body

A Deeper Dimension of Shame

The Meaning of “Insatiability of the Union”

Where Does the Insatiability of the Union Come From?

C. The Corruption of the Spousal Meaning of the Body

Meaning—“Measure of the Heart”

Threat Against the Expression of the Spirit in the Body

Loss of the Freedom of the Gift

The Inner Measure of Belonging

3. Commandment and Ethos

A. It Was Said, “Do Not Commit Adultery” (Mt 5:27)

The History of a People


The Prophets


B. “Whoever Looks to Desire…”

Shift in the Center of Gravity

The Wisdom Tradition

The Inner State of the Man of Concupiscence (Sir 23:16–24)

Christ’s Call to Halt at the Threshold of the Look

Concupiscence—Reduction of a Perennial Call

Concupiscence—“Communion” of Persons Versus “Urge” of Nature

C. “Has Committed Adultery in the Heart…”

The “Key” Phrase

A First Reading

A Second Reading

Purity of Heart as the Fulfillment of the Commandment

4. The “Heart”—Accused or Called?

A. Condemnation of the Body?


The Correct Understanding

Anti-Value or Value not Sufficiently Appreciated?

B. The “Heart” Under Suspicion?

“Masters of Suspicion”

Essential Divergence

C. Eros and Ethos

Eros as the Source of the “Erotic”

Ethos as an Inner Power of Eros

The Problem of Erotic Spontaneity

5. The Ethos of the Redemption of the Body

6. Purity as “Life according to the Spirit”

“Purity” and “Heart”

“Body” and “Spirit” according to St. Paul

“Works of the Flesh” and “Fruit of the Spirit”

“Flesh” and “The Freedom for Which Christ Set Us Free”

Purity—“Keeping the Passions Away” or “Keeping the Body with Holiness and Reverence”?

Analysis of the Pauline “Description of the Body” (1 Cor 12:18–27)

Purity as a Virtue and a Gift

Purity and Wisdom

7. The Gospel of Purity of Heart—Yesterday and Today

Theology of the Body

Theology and Pedagogy

Appendix: The Ethos of the Body in Art and Media

Chapter Three: Christ Appeals to the Resurrection

1. The Resurrection of the Body as a Reality of the “Future World”

A. The Synoptics: “He Is Not God of the Dead but of the Living”

The Third Part of the Triptych

Witness to the Power of the Living God

The New Meaning of the Body



B. Pauline Interpretation of the Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:42–49

Final Victory over Death

The First Adam and the Last Adam

2. Continence for the Kingdom of Heaven

A. The Words of Christ in Matthew 19:11–12

Christ’s Word and the Rule for Understanding

Three Kinds of “Eunuchs”—Why?

Continence for the Kingdom of Heaven and “Fruitfulness from the Spirit”

The Expression “For the Kingdom of Heaven” Indicates Motivation

Continence and Marriage—Vocation of “Historical” Man

Right Understanding of the “Superiority” of Continence for the Kingdom of Heaven

Continence for the Kingdom—Between Renunciation and Love

The Spousal Meaning of the Body as the Foundation of Christ’s Call to Continence

Renunciation in the Service of Affirmation

B. Paul’s Understanding of the Relation between Virginity and Marriage (1 Cor 7)

Christ’s Statement and the Teaching of the Apostles

Paul’s Argumentation

“Concupiscence” and “Gift from God”

Conclusion of Part One: The Redemption of the Body

Part Two: The Sacrament

Chapter One: The Dimension of Covenant and of Grace

1. Ephesians 5:21–33

A. Introduction and Connection

The Text of Ephesians 5:21–33

Ephesians 5:21–33 and Christ’s Words

Ephesians 5:21–33—Two Meanings of “Body”

Does Ephesians 5:21–33 Speak about the Sacramentality of Marriage?

Sacrament and Body

Direction of the Following Analyses

B. Detailed Analysis

Ephesians 5:21–33 in the Context of Ephesians as a Whole

The Mystery of Christ and the Vocation of the Christian

The Atmosphere of the Christian Community’s Life

Indications for the Community of the Family

The Spouses: “Reciprocally Subject in the Fear of Christ”

Analogy and Mystery (At the Foundation of the Sacramentality of Marriage)

An Additional Aspect of the Analogy—Head and Body

Two Subjects or One?

“…As Their Own Body” (Eph 5:28)

“This Mystery Is Great”

2. Sacrament and Mystery

The Mystery Hidden from Ages Revealed and Active in Christ

The Analogy of Spousal Love

Isaiah and Ephesians

The Reality of the Gift, The Meaning of Grace

Marriage as the Primordial Sacrament

“The Sacrament of Redemption”

Marriage as Figure and as Sacrament of the New Covenant

The Sacraments of the Church

3. Sacrament and “Redemption of the Body”

A. The Gospel

The Words of Christ and the Mystery of Redemption

The Sacrament of Redemption and the Indissolubility of Marriage

Sacrament—Given as Grace and Assigned as an Ethos

Sacrament—Call to “Life according to the Spirit”

Sacrament and the Eschatological Hope of the “Redemption of the Body”

B. Ephesians

The Spousal and Redemptive Meaning of Love

Redemption of the Body and “The Sacrament of Man”

Chapter Two: The Dimension of Sign

1. “Language of the Body” and the Reality of the Sign

The Marital Promise

“Prophetism of the Body”

“Language of the Body” Reread in the Truth

“Language of the Body” and the Concupiscence of the Flesh

“Language of the Body” and “Hermeneutics of the Sacrament”

2. The Song of Songs

Resuming Genesis: Wonder

“My Sister, My Bride”

“A Garden Closed, A Fountain Sealed”

Eros or Agape?

3. When the “Language of the Body” Becomes the Language of the Liturgy (Reflections on Tobit)

The Marriage of Tobias and Sarah

Love as a Test

The Prayer of the New Spouses

When the Language of the Liturgy Becomes the “Language of the Body”

The Sacramental Sign—“Mysterium” and “Ethos”

Chapter Three: He Gave Them the Law of Life as Their Inheritance

1. The Ethical Problem

The Moral Norm and the Truth of the “Language of the Body”

The Rightness of the Norm and Its “Practicability”

Responsible Parenthood

The Truth of the “Language of the Body” and the Evil of Contraception

Ethical Regulation of Fertility (The Primacy of Virtue)

Ethical Regulation of Fertility: Person, Nature, and Method

2. Outline of Conjugal Spirituality

The Power that Flows from Sacramental “Consecration”

Analysis of the Virtue of Continence

Continence between “Arousal” and “Emotion”

The Gift of Reverence



Index of Words and Phrases

Scripture Index

Systems of Reference to TOB

Notes to “From Archives” Section