A Video Series on the Theology of the Body
On September 5, 1979, St. Pope John Paul II began a series of Wednesday audiences that became a catechesis on the theology of the body. The theology of the body represents a return to the fundamental, integral vision of man as being made in the image and likeness of God, the only creature God created for his own sake. The theology of the body is, therefore, a striking defense of the human person in the face of the many reductionistic theories and tendencies of the modern age. The theology of the body is the most creative approach to the defense of Catholic moral teachings in the domain of sex and marriage, combining insights from Catholic theology, theologians, and philosophers from many fields of study, including Thomism, phenomenology, existentialism and dialogue with psychoanalysis.
In this video series, we work through all 133 Wednesday audiences. That is right, a video for every audience, within which we give commentary, explain concepts and terminology, with the goal of helping the reader make his way through this amazing and difficult text. We have also provided the PowerPoint slides used in the videos.
Videos are released on Mondays and Fridays every week. Can't wait to watch more episodes? Support us on Patreon for early access to our theology of the body video library.
In this video we introduce chapter 2 of part 1. This audience introduces Matt. 5:27-28 from the Sermon on the Mount. In this audience two themes are introduced:
1) The normativity of Christ's words in the Sermon of the Mount
2) Christ's message as a fundamental revision in understanding God's moral law
Lastly, a few comments are made on the German philosopher Max Scheler.
TOB 36 continues investigating the legislative interpretation of the 6th commandment. The language of this interpretation demonstrates that what was considered sexual was "impure", that the focus was on the maintenance of social order, and not concerned with the dimension of the heart as Christ appealed to in Matthew 5:27-28. JPII next introduces the prophetic tradition, which is taken up again in the next audience. The prophetic tradition shows
1) An analogy between Israel and God and the relationship between husband and wife
2) Israel's departure from God for other gods was considered to be adultery
In this video we revisit the question of whether the heart is accused or not by talking about a third interpretation. Using the concept of "masters of suspicion" by Paul Ricoeur, JPII talks about how Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche hold the heart in suspicion. These three masters argue concupiscence has the final say about man. JPII presents the ethos of the New Testament as the counter to these thinkers. In this video we dedicate some time to also explaining who is Paul Ricoeur and Sigmund Freud.
In this video we continue the analysis of TOB 47 by placing the discussion of eros and the New Testament ethos within the context of a new question, the role of erotic spontaneity within the ethos of the New Testament. JPII distinguishes between two kinds of spontaneity, calling us to mature spontaneity.
In this video we conclude chapter 1 of the theology of the body. With it, we follow JPII's reflections on the past 22 audiences, while looking forward to what will come next in chapter 2. In this audience,JPII demanded a recovery of what Paul VI called the integral vision of man in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, and also argued for the role his analyses on the theology of the body have on every single human person in order to fulfill himself or herself as a human person.
In this video we examine the Biblical foundations concerning concupiscence. In particular, we analyze
1) Genesis 3:6 with its introduction of shame
2) Genesis 3:8 describing fear as a necessary component of shame
3) Church teachings concerning Adam and Eve
4) Defining concupiscence as a lack
5) Genesis 3:10 and the self-awareness of the first man
In this video we continue examining concupiscence. In particular, we discuss:
1) How shame and concupiscence introduced a change within the communion of persons
2) How shame and concupiscence changed man's perception of the body as the substratum for the communion of persons
3) How concupiscence leads to the difficulty of identifying the body within the sphere of subjectivity
This audience continues the analysis of TOB 30 which is examining the meaning of dominate in Genesis 3:16. In this video we discuss:
1) Shame as transformation of the human spirit
2) The meaning of man who is dominates woman
3) How domination perverts the communion of persons
4) How domination deforms the spousal meaning of the body
In this audience, we begin analyzing who Jesus' listeners were and how they would interpret the Sermon on the Mount. This video focuses on the Legislative interpretation of the 6th commandment against committing adultery. The history of this legislative interpretation shows us its limitations since it accepted polygamy within its institutions. JPII argues that this led to a perversion in understanding the 6th commandment, which requires monogamy.
In this video we continue discussing the prophetic tradition of the 6th commandment against adultery. In particular, we talk about
1) The prophet Hosea
2) The prophet Ezekiel
3) The analogy of marital love between God and Israel and the corresponding language of idolatry as adultery
4) The sinfulness of adultery as antithetical to the marital covenant between man and woman
In this video we continue addressing the question raised in TOB 44 concerning whether the heart is to be accused or not due to the fact of concupiscence. One solution is Manichaeism, which believed that the body, sex, and procreation are evil. Here in TOB 45 JPII definitively rejects this interpretation. The Christian message is instead an appeal to the human heart. This video further discusses:
1) The difference in ethos of Manichaeism and Christianity
2) How the sexual revolution is really a kind of Manichaeism
In this video we transition to analyzing the words of St. Paul in light of the Sermon on the Mount. Here we talk about some general points JPII makes about the purity of heart, continence, how Christ is the reference point for understanding morality, and an objection to the New Testament ethos.
In this video we begin our analysis of St. Paul's concept of life according to the Spirit and its connection Christ's purity of heart, starting with Galatians 5. In particular, we talk about
1) The meaning of flesh in St. Paul
2) The life according to the spirit versus life according to the flesh
3) The theological concept of justification
4) Romans 8
5) The fruit of the Spirit
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo