Theology of the Body

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Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
A Cliff Notes’ Version
A. The Theology of the Body is the term used to describe the teaching of Pope John Paul about the human person and human sexuality given during his Wednesday Catecheses in St. Peter’s Square between September 5, 1979 and November 28, 1984. John Paul II says that these catecheses could be called “Human Love in the Divine Plan” or “The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage.”

B. Various scholars, in different language groupings, will generally break the theology of the body found in these 129 catecheses down into four main sections, others six. I think the most logical way to do so is to break it down into seven interrelated sections:
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This redemption of the body, which agrees with our experience, opens the way for the proper theology of the body.

B. Man’s original solitude
1) God said: "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him" (Gen 2:18). This “man” refers to the human person, and not just to the male.
2) God had put man through a test in naming all of creation, which in addition to revealing to man his freedom, allowed him to become aware of his difference from the rest of creation. He was also not God. Man is conscious that he belongs to the visible world as a body among different bodies, but he was self-consciously in search of his identity and felt alone (another sign of self-knowledge), because he was different from the rest of creation and from God. This indicates man’s original subjectivity.
3) God’s command concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil provides man the moment of choice and self-determination, of free will.
4) God’s command to “fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion” (Gen 1:28) by tilling the earth shows that man’s capacity to dominate the earth lies within himself, transforming it to his own needs.

C. The original unity of man and woman
1) The meaning of original solitude (man-Adam) is substantially prior to the meaning of original unity (male-female).
2) The analogy of Adam’s falling
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