First of all, I am a Theology of the Body amateur. I am actually not a theologian at all. I have read all of the audiences commonly known as “Theology of the Body” by St. John Paul II, which is really not saying much, but is, unfortunately, more than most Catholics can say. I have not read much of the relatively small body of commentary and study. I have thought deeply about what St. John Paul said in these audiences and what they mean for the Church, and for humanity.
Before starting this blog, I did a brief search for other blogs focusing on Theology of the Body. I was not able to find any currently active. (If you know of one, please direct me.) I see discussion of theology of the body as an important, urgent need in the Church. There are others who are more qualified for the work than I am, but as “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few,” I am setting to work to offer what I can.
I intend to work systematically through the audiences in a series of posts with these objectives:
1. Summarize the content. Obviously, much will be left out.
2. Make the content accessible. These audiences were addressed to the whole Church, and should be given freely to those without a background in theology or philosophy.
3. Engage the content. Consider the implications: how does this affect the way that I see myself, God, the Church, sin and salvation, men and women, vocations, sex, marriage? How does it affect my daily life? Ask deeper questions about the theology, philosophy, psychology and anthropology contained in the work.
If you have always wanted to know what Theology of the Body is all about, if you’re familiar with it and want to think about individual sections further, or if you want to read my thoughts on it and tell me yours, then please join me! My TOB Summary Series starts here.
Comments will be very welcome, and you can expect me to respond in detail.
Why “human theology?”
I was recently asked why I named the blog “human theology.” I first thought of naming it something like “theology of the body,” but of course all reasonable mutations of this were taken, although I couldn’t find any blogs about theology of the body. Then I considered rearranging to “body theology,” but that sounds odd. I thought for a while, and “human theology” conveyed something important to me about theology of the body. It is not just an apology for the Church’s sexual ethics. It is a way to view humanity, an anthropology. And it’s not really about the body – it’s about the human person, who is physical. Human Theology: a theological study of humanity. Theology of the body!