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The Theology of the Body Pope John Paul II

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1 The Theology of the Body Pope John Paul II

2 Originally published in four books:
Introduction Originally published in four books: 1. Original Unity of Man and Woman. 2. Blessed are the Pure of Heart. 3. The Theology of Marriage and Celibacy. 4. Reflections on Humanae Vitae.

3 Theology of the Body The four original books and the subsequent book: The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan is a compilation of the 129 weekly messages Pope John Paul II gave between September 1979 and November 1984. ** Re-translated and re-published in 2006 as: Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body.

4 In The Beginning Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees is the basis for Pope John Paul II’s discourse on the nature of marriage, conjugal love and the human person. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” (Matthew 19:3ff and Mark 10:2ff). - “from the beginning it was not so…” - Moses allowed divorce as a concession to sin.

5 In the Beginning Jesus’ response contrasts:
The state of primitive innocence – integral nature with... The state of human sinfulness – fallen nature.

6 In the Beginning Jesus refuses to address the question of the Pharisees according to their pre-set parameters. Avoids the test/trap set by the Pharisees. Instead of simply forcing an acceptance of the divine law, Jesus’ reference to “the beginning” invites man to reflect on the mystery of man at the moment of his creation and the meaning of conjugal love (TB 26).

7 In the Beginning Jesus invites his questioners to reflect on the beauty, wonder, majesty of God’s original plan present “in the beginning.” Hardness of heart has obscured it, but God’s original plan remains stamped into man’s very being.

8 In the Beginning Catechism on the Genesis accounts.
The first three chapters of Genesis occupy a special place in Scripture regarding creation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the “beginning”: creation, fall, and promise of salvation (CCC 289).

9 In the Beginning Jesus’ reference to “the beginning” highlights several important things initially: God created man in His image and likeness as male and female (Gen.1:27). A man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). Jesus states in Matthew that the two are no longer two but one flesh and that man cannot divide what God has joined. Unity and indissolubility are set forth.

10 Stages of Human Existence
1) Original Innocence. Man’s original condition of blessedness. It is marked by complete harmony with God, himself, others, and nature.

11 Stages of Human Existence
2) Historical Man. - A state of sin: begins with the Fall. - The effects of the Original Sin plunge its roots in every person without exception. - Closed to original innocence. - Open to redemption.

12 Stages of Human Existence
3) Eschatological / Redeemed Man. - We await the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23). - We participate in salvation by cooperating w/ God.

13 Original Human Experiences
1. Original Solitude 2. Original Unity 3. Original Nakedness

14 Original Human Experiences
There remains “a certain echo” of the original innocence of man. Although we have no experience of the state of original innocence, we can catch a glimpse of it by inverting our experience of innocence lost (A photographic negative reveals something of the positive image – TBE 64)

15 Original Human Experiences
Analysis of the Second Creation Story: The Starting Point: Gen. 2:18. “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

16 Original Solitude The passage from Gen. 2:18 is taken from the second account of creation. Only in the Yahwist tradition. Unlike the first creation story, in the account of Genesis 2 the creation of man is different and separate (Gen. 2:7) from the creation of woman. When God speaks, then, about solitude it is in reference to the solitude of “man” (undifferentiated “humanity”) as such, and not just to that of the male (TB 35).

17 Original Solitude Gen. 2:18.
- Pope John Paul II contends that this solitude is a fundamental anthropological problem that exists prior to the one raised by the fact that man is male and female. - Not so much chronologically, but in his nature. - Man discovers his own personhood, being a body – being somebody in a deeper sense prior to his masculinity or femininity. - Experience of this reality? - Basically man discovers his uniqueness in this solitude and he becomes conscious of himself through his body.

18 Original Solitude Recognizing that the man needs a helper, God creates the animals, brings them to him to see what he will call them. - Naming is a preparation for the creation of woman. *** Through this test the first meaning of the original solitude is manifested.

19 Original Solitude Major Discoveries:
1. Through naming the animals Adam becomes aware of his own superiority before all creation. 2. He is “alone” – distinguished from the animalia (other living beings). - Note: Instead of seeing the commonality between him and the animals, the man sees first “what he is not.”

20 Original Solitude Man becomes conscious of himself through his body. He is a body among bodies, and yet he discovers that he is alone (TB 39). In naming man’s self-awareness grows. - Self-knowledge grows as his knowledge of creation grows. Man recognizes his superiority to the rest of creation. - Greater capacities and faculties. Unlike animals man possesses self-determination, conscious choice (given choice between good and evil). - Man authors his own activities. He can, at will, till or not till; name or not name etc…

21 Original Solitude The human body, unlike the bodies of animals, expresses the presence of a person. In the state of original solitude, man becomes conscious of the meaning of his own body.

22 Original Solitude Alternative between death and immortality.
Man is a subject (An “I”) because of his self- awareness and self-determination and also because of his own body. The human body permits man to be the author of truly human activity (knowing and willing). The body expresses a person.

23 Original Solitude With this knowledge man is placed before the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “if you eat of the tree, you shall die” (Gen. 2:16-17). - Man is confirmed as a limited being who lives a dependent existence – by his decision and choice liable to nonexistence. Distinct from the animals.

24 Original Solitude Confrontation with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – the alternative between life and death – establishes the eschatological meaning of the body and humanity itself.

25 Original Solitude - Right “from the beginning” of man’s existence, in his solitude, the alternative or free choice between life and death enters the definition of man (TB 42). - The choice to eat of the forbidden tree has roots in humanity itself. It carries with it the absolute loneliness of alienation from God – Death. - Freedom, then is man’s capacity for eternity: Eternal life in communion with God or eternal death of alienation.

26 Original Unity “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18).

27 Original Unity Already noted:
- Man as a “body” belongs to his structure as a personal subject more deeply than sexual differentiation. - Original Solitude is prior to Original Unity. - Experience of being “human” is prior to the experience of being a man or a woman. The Original Unity is based upon the two incarnations of humanity: masculinity and femininity.

28 Original Unity The Creation of Woman (Gen 2:21-24).
- The man falls “asleep” in order to wake up male and female. The analogy of sleep: Not so much a passing from consciousness to subconsciousness, as a specific return to non-being – a moment preceding creation – so that “solitary man” may emerge as male and female (TB 44). Possible to translate the Hebrew tardemah with the Greek ekstasis – ecstasy in English (TBE 74).

29 Original Unity - Man did not find a suitable partner for himself (Gen. 2:20). > Pope John Paul II says that there is no doubt that the solitary man enters the “sleep” with a desire of finding a being like himself. In the “sleep” the generic man is “recreated” male and female – a unity in two. > That the woman is a fit helper, despite the sexual difference, is so evident that the man at once accepts her with joy when he says “this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh – she shall be called woman…”(Gen. 2:23). > Gen. 2:23 – we see the distinction between ‘is and ‘issah for the first time.

30 Original Unity The original experience of Unity is founded on the mutual reciprocity of the two. In his original solitude, man saw his distinction from all created reality; however, it also opened him up to a being like himself. In the complementarity of the sexes, man is oriented toward a communion of persons.

31 Original Unity The foundation of the communion between man and woman can only be formed on the basis of a “double solitude” in which man and woman recognize their distinction from all creation and the possibility of a mutual giving of themselves.

32 Original Unity The creation of woman:
- Overcomes the frontier of solitude. - Fulfills the creation of the human person. “Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. Right “from the beginning,” he is not only an image in which the solitude of the person who rules the world is reflected, but also, and essentially, an image of an inscrutable divine communion of persons” (TB 46). - Almost as if only at the sight of woman is the man able to identify what makes them visibly similar, what manifests humanity: The body reveals man.

33 Original Unity Gift (Gen. 2:24).
- Mutual Gift “A man shall leave his father and mother…and the two become one body (Gen. 2:24). - Leads to a communion of persons – man and woman are created for unity. - In every aspect of life. - Through a total and reciprocal gift. - Communion is foremost in “image.” - The unity of the two into one flesh is a bond established as a gift of God.

34 Original Unity The human person loves and expresses love in and though the body. As embodied persons, their masculinity and femininity allow for a unity of persons. The reality of sex appears. The two discover the immense joy of the loving union expressed through their bodies. Unity comes through total and reciprocal donation. Through their intellect and will, the two have dominion over their bodies which allows for the expression of authentic love.

35 Original Unity God did indeed create the human body to express the person. Therefore, God gave the minds and wills of our first parents a certain control over their bodies. They were able to express their persons in and through their bodies because their bodies, unlike ours, were under the rule of their minds and wills. Consciousness, efficacy, freedom, transcendence, and truth were expressed in and through their bodies. In other words, they were integrated. The wills of our first parents did not have to struggle against the desires of their flesh. Our first parents had no need of will power as we do. The experience of original unity was possible for our first parents because both, within themselves, were completely in harmony. There was no opposition, as there is in us, between the mind and the will, on the one hand, and the body, on the other. (Hogan, Covenant of Love, 48).

36 Original Unity Concept of “gift” – made for communion.
JP II – we are created as “being-gifts.” The key to sexuality. A total gift of self in a reciprocal relationship. - No selfish calculations. - The only proper response to a human being is love.

37 Original Nakedness “The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame” (Gen. 2:25). Passage seems misplaced or merely an afterthought, rather, it is key. Pope John Paul II calls shame the “boundary experience” that separates man’s experience of original blessedness from the experience of historical man.

38 Original Nakedness - e.g., very young children.
Involves a real non-presence of shame, not simply a lack, an underdevelopment, or a desensitization. - e.g., very young children. - Suppression of shame when it is called for – examples?

39 Original Nakedness Shame is at its heart a fear for one’s “self”.
- We have at the core of our being a need for the affirmation/acceptance of this “self” in line with its proper value. - Involves a fear that the “other” will not recognize or affirm the truth of my person revealed by nakedness. - e.g., ESPN reporter Erin Andrews

40 Original Nakedness Nakedness without shame indicates a fullness of consciousness which affirmed the inherent value of the person expressed as male and female. The Fundamental Message: The authentic gift of self involves an experience of joy and innocence. The man and his wife were free with regard to themselves. Purity of the gaze.

41 Original Nakedness The Gift of Self (Being-Gift).
- Man was created to receive the gifts of God. He was the only creation able to understanding the meaning of the gifts. - Life – recognizes the gift. - Creation – feeling of wonder at the gift.

42 Original Nakedness Man enters creation as one who receives God’s gifts. Because he is created in God’s image and likeness, he also desires to give gifts. - Man offers himself manifested in the body. - Spousal meaning of the body – from the beginning the body has a capacity to express love in which the person becomes a gift and fulfills the meaning of his/her existence.

43 Original Nakedness The Gift of Self (Being-Gift).
- “Man is created as a person first to receive the gift of God’s gratuitous love and then to recapitulate that love by being gift to others” (TBE 96). - In the original experience, man accepts the woman as she is willed by God, “for her own sake;” woman accepts man as he is willed by God, “for his own sake.” Not possessed for one’s own use; for one’s own purposes. - Reciprocal and total gift of self in love. - The absence of shame underlines the peace and tranquility of the “interior gaze” mutually bestowed. - Serenity shows the interior harmony with God’s plan.

44 Original Nakedness The Gift of Self (Freedom).
- In the beginning man and the woman are free with regard to themselves. - “Free with the freedom of the gift” (TB 64). Adam was under no compulsion to satisfy an “instinct” at the sight of Eve’s naked body. Instead the sight of her inspired him to make a sincere gift of himself to her. - Basis of the spousal meaning of the body. Involves a trust in initiation and in receiving. - Mastery of self – man cannot give himself away if he is not in control of himself/desires. - A disinterested giving of self – interested, but not motivated by self-seeking.

45 Human  Freedom  Gift of
Original Nakedness Human  Freedom  Gift of Nature Self (Image of God) - Our freedom is a freedom FOR self-giving, loving, communion – possible in Original Nakedness. > Similar to the freedom of God in whose image man is created. > It is not a freedom FROM something as it is often supposed.

46 Original Nakedness Significance of Gen. 2:25:
“…the affirmation contained in Gen :25 about nakedness mutually free from shame is a statement unique in its kind in the whole Bible. It will never be repeated. On the contrary, we can quote many texts in which nakedness will be connected with shame, or in an even stronger sense, with ignominy (TB 68). - Original innocence irretrievably gone – can’t go back. - All is not lost. - Redemption in Christ – “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20).

47 Historical Man The Fall.
“The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen 3:6). “…Then they eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loin cloths” (Gen 3:7). “Where are you?...I heard you in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Gen. 9-10).

48 Historical Man “Fruit” of the Breach of the Covenant – Lust.
It comes from doubt about the original gift. Questioning the gift and the love of God (after they had seen the wonders of God’s creation). Questioning if God is truly what he claimed, or a liar. God of love or God the tyrant.

49 Historical Man “Questioning in his heart the deepest meaning of the donation, that is, love as the specific motive of creation and of the original covenant (Gen. 3:5), man turns his back on God-Love, on the Father. In a way he casts God out of his heart. At the same time, he detaches his heart and almost cuts it off from what is ‘of the Father.’ Thus, there remains in him what is ‘of the world’” (TB 111).

50 Historical Man “Fruit” of the Breach of the Covenant – Lust.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes way, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn :16-17).

51 Historical Man Three-fold concupiscence (temptations of Jesus). - “Good for food” – lust of the flesh. - “Pleasing to the eyes” – lust of the eyes. - “Desirable for gaining wisdom” – pride of life.

52 Historical Man The Sermon on the Mount. “You have heard it said, ‘you shall not commit adultery,’ I say to you that anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” - Not merely exterior acts, but interior motivation; interior desires.

53 Historical Man Three Results of the Breach: 1) Nakedness and Shame.
2) The Body – Contains a Center of Resistance. 3) “Domination” in Interpersonal Relations.

54 Nakedness and Shame Fear.
“I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself” (Gen 3:10). Breaking the relationship with God. Breaking the trust between each other. Ultimately involves a disruption of the whole order of nature: (1) dominion becomes domination; (2) man becomes subject to the earth “by the sweat of your brow…” Thus, they were not only hiding themselves from God, but from each other and creation.

55 Nakedness and Shame Nakedness and shame are new to the consciousness.
- Shame is the boundary experience between the man of lust and the man of innocence. Gen. 2:25 “naked and not ashamed.” Gen. 3:10 “afraid because of nakedness.” The nakedness of the body, which once revealed God’s gift of love in which they participated, now reveals their alienation from God and each other.

56 Nakedness and Shame Lust.
Lust lies at the heart of man’s fear and shame. “Man is ashamed of his body because of lust. In fact, he is ashamed not so much of his body as precisely of lust. He is ashamed of his body owing to lust” (TB 116). > Lust explains why shame exists and shame reveals the damage or injury caused by lust. Man may believe that the body and gender difference is the origin of his shame, but this almost always is a deflection from the true source of shame which is his own lustful heart.

57 Nakedness and Shame Lust threatens man’s dignity (image and likeness).
Immanent shame – experienced within oneself due to the loss of freedom (self-mastery) to self-gift. “I can no longer control myself.” Flip-side of original solitude. Loss of man’s dignity; he stopped, through his own body, being above the world of living beings or animalia. (TB ).

58 Nakedness and Shame Relative shame – experienced in relation to the other. The body becomes a “thing” for my use. Flip-side of original unity. Fear for one’s self – must cover nakedness from the lustful eyes of the other.

59 Nakedness and Shame Double meaning of shame:
Negative meaning: The other’s body is no longer a revelation of God’s mystery, as a revelation of the person, but as a “thing” to be used for gratification. Positive meaning: Because man still retains a sense of his own dignity and his knowledge that he/she should not be used as a means (satisfying lust), shame indicates an innate need to protect the value of the person from lust.

60 Resistance of the Body Body Contains a Center of Resistance.
- Breakdown of spiritual and somatic unity. - The body is no longer subordinated to the spirit. - St. Paul’s letter to the Romans: “…but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members…” (Rom. 7:23). - Lust is the threat to the structure of self-mastery.

61 Domination of Relationships
Domination in Interpersonal Relations. Lust causes a distortion. The simplicity and purity of the original experience disappear – lust replaces the sincere gift of self. - The body, which was the “substratum” of the communion of persons, now becomes an obstacle in the personal relationship of man and woman.

62 Domination of Relationships
“Second discovery of sex.” - What once unified, now divides or opposes. - Persons are no longer subjects for their own sake, but objects for sexual gratification. - Lust is ultimately a reduction of a person in all his/her richness, to the single value of physical gratification.

63 Domination of Relationships
“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). - Not to be understood as an inequality of personhood. - These words indicate a violation, a fundamental loss of the original community-communion of persons. - First, this communion was intended, in the reciprocal offering of persons to make man and woman happy, and second, they were to be made happy by the blessing of fertility and procreation.

64 Domination of Relationships
With the break caused by Adam and Eve’s choice, their relationship changed – the capacity of full and mutual communion ends.

65 Domination of Relationships
“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). “They are no longer called only to union and unity, but are also threatened by the insatiability of that union and unity. It does not cease to attract man and woman precisely because they are persons called from eternity to exist in communion” (TB 121). - Man and woman are divided and even opposed to each other. They desire unity, but they can’t satisfy their longing. - They can no longer give completely to each other. - The lust of the flesh directs their desires to satisfy the body, often at the cost of a complete communion of persons.

66 Domination in Relationships
Distortion in Man: - Lust distorts the original masculine initiation of love. Because man is tainted by lust, oftentimes what he initiates is not a “sincere gift of self” but the desire to appropriate the woman for his own sexual gratification. - The man of lust no longer seeks to make a gift of himself to the woman, but instead to use her for his own ends, to possess, dominate and control her.

67 Domination in Relationships
Distortion in woman: - The distortion in the woman’s heart can take different forms: 1) A disregard for her own dignity in which she allows herself to be used . 2) To apply her instincts to direct the man as she wills. Thus, the woman can also use the man for her purposes. - In the case of the man or the woman, the relationship has changed from self-gift to self-appropriation.

68 Domination in Relationships
The Problem of Domination. - The woman caught in adultery. She is exposed to “her” sin while the man, equally guilty, escapes notice. Jesus renovates the old law allowing a man to divorce his wife. He calls men and women back to the beginning.

69 Domination in Relationships
The Problem of Domination. - Throughout history, women have borne the largest share of the burdens regarding sexual sin. - Pressured to conform to male demands (body size / shape; styles of dress; attitudes etc…). - Often she alone pays – and pays all alone. - Often abandoned with pregnancy. - Often required to subject herself to potential harm in order to allow the man to “rule” – contraceptives. - She bears the consequences of abortion. - Many physical and psychological problems.

70 Domination in Relationships
The Problem of Domination. - How has the contraceptive mentality furthered the domination of women? - Who suffers most as a result of the breakdown of the family?

71 Redeemed Man The Redemption of Man.
The form of the new man can emerge from this way of being and acting, to the extent to which the ethos of the redemption of the body dominates the lust of the flesh and the whole man of temperance and mastery of desires, that is, at the very root, already in the purely interior sphere. The ethos of redemption contains in every area – and directly in the sphere of the lust of the flesh – the imperative of self-control, the necessity of immediate continence and habitual temperance. - Selfishness / depersonalization is the enemy of authentic love.

72 Redeemed Man Ephesians 5:21-35 refers to the relationship between Christ and his Bride, the Church. This is the model for the relationship between husband and wife.

73 Redeemed Man Ephesians 5:21-35.
- Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. - Wives be submissive to your husbands as to the Lord. - Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. - Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.

74 Redeemed Man Ephesians.
For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes it and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body. - For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. - This is a great mystery. I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.

75 Redeemed Man The Gospel Innovation.
 Be subject to one  A restoration of the another out of original equality in reverence for Christ marriage.

76 Redeemed Man The Gospel Innovation.
 Husbands love your  The author takes wife as Christ loved account of the real the Church and gave situation of women himself for her and challenges it. The headship of the husband is like that of Christ. An affirmation of the woman’s dignity.

77 Redeemed Man Love in a Christ-like Manner. Husbands love your wives.
A fundamental affirmation of the woman as a person. This is the way Christ acts as the bridegroom of the Church. He desires that she be in splendor, without spot or wrinkle (Eph :27).

78 Redeemed Man Love in a Christ-like Manner.
One can say that this fully captures the whole “manner” of Christ in his interaction with women. Husbands should make their own the elements of this style in regard to their wives. Analogously, all men should do the same in regard to the women they encounter in any situation. In this way a “sincere gift of self” is possible.

79 Redeemed Man The Symbolic Dimension in Ephesians. The Great Mystery.
God’s love for his people has a spousal quality. The Bride, the Church, is a collective subject. Christ has loved the Church which is also called his own body. Christ has entered into human history and remains in it as the Bridegroom who gives himself. - “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13).

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