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. 

Structure of the Theology of the Body

In this video we explain the overall structure of JPII's TOB to help get a general understanding of the text it.

Audience 02

In this video we examine JPII's treatment of Genesis 1. Topics include:
1) The Documentary Hypothesis
2) The cosmological, theological, and metaphysical characteristics of Genesis 1's account of creation.

Audience 04

In this video we explain three overarching themes:
1) Who is historical man?
2) What is the perspective of redemption?
3) What is this appeal to experience at the end of the audience?

Audience 06

In this video we examine the following:
1) Covenant
2) Experience of the body
3) Man's role in tilling the earth

Audience 08

In this video we examine the following:
1) Original Unity
2) Masculinity and Femininity
3) The Meaning of Torpor
4) The Meaning of Rib
5) Freudian Analysis of Torpor

Audience 10

In this video we examine the following:
1) The Intersection of Original Unity, Original Solitude, Masculinity, Femininity, and the Conjugal Act
2) Original Unity and Self-Determination

Audience 12

In this video we examine the following:
1) The concept of shame
2) Interpreting why the first man and woman did not feel shame
3) The dialectics of objective-subjective and exterior-interior perception
4) The meaning of communication

Audience 14

In this video we examine the following:
1) The concepts of alone and help in reference to gift
2) The beatifying function of gift
3) The body and gift
4) The spousal meaning of the body
5) Some reflections on norms concerning the spousal meaning of the body

Audience 16

In this video we examine the following:
1) Love and creation in light of original innocence
2) Historical man as a hermeneutic for understanding original innocence
3) Beatification and original innocence

Audience 18

In this video we examine the following:
1) John Paul II's theological approach
2) The meaning of synthetic in light of Immanuel Kant's philosophy
3) The spiritualization of the first man and woman in contrast to man in original sin
4) The ethos of the body

Audience 20

In this video we examine the following:
1) The ethos of the gift
2) How original sin affects this ethos
3) The human body as a sacrament
4) How Genesis 2 describes the first marriage feast

Audience 22

In this video we examine the following:
1) The meaning of Gen 4:1 "I have acquired a man" as a second naming
2) The relationship between knowledge, possession, and human nature with regards to procreation
3) The relationship between knowledge and original sin

Audience 24

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.

Audience 26

In this video we discuss:
1) The threefold concupiscence of 1 John 2:16-17
2) Concupiscence and Genesis 3
3) The Man of Desire

Audience 01

In this video we introduce the context in which St. Pope John Paul II will begin his investigation. The fundamental question raised here is what is meant by Christ's appeal to "the beginning" in his discussion with the Pharisees on divorce.

Audience 03

In this video we examine JPII's first look at Genesis 2. We discuss:
1) Overall characteristics of Genesis 2
2) Meaning of myth
3) Some linguistic features
4) The introduction of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Audience 05

In this video we examine the following:
1) Original solitude and the concept of a fit helper
2) Man naming the animals
3) Aristotle's concept of rational animal
4) The concept of subjectivity

Audience 07

In this video we examine the following:
1) Consciousness of the body
2) The role of the body in human activity
3) The introduction of death
4) The concept of self-determination

Audience 09

In this video we examine the following:
1) Unity and Duality Based on Masculinity and Femininity
2) Communion of Persons
3) Image of God and Original Unity
4) Original Unity and the Conjugal Act

Audience 11

In this video we examine the following:
1) The concept of original experience
2) Essence
3) The role of shame in understanding original nakedness

Audience 13

In this video we examine the following:
1) The concepts of nakedness, experience, gift
2) Creation as gift

Audience 15

In this video we examine the following:
1) The teaching of Gaudium et Spes 24.3
2) The gift of self and freedom
3) The spousal meaning of the body

Audience 17

In this video we examine the following:
1) Original innocence as the exchange of the gift of self
2) The gift of self of the woman and of the man

Audience 19

In this video we examine the following:
1) The ethos of the gift
2) How original sin affects this ethos
3) The human body as a sacrament
4) How Genesis 2 describes the first marriage feast

Audience 21

In this video we examine the following:
1) The meaning of archetype and Carl Jung
2) The meaning of motherhood and fatherhood
3) The meaning of begetting and procreation

Audience 23

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.

Audience 25

TOB 25 begins the analysis of Matt. 5:27, "You have heard...". In this video, we discuss:
1) Whom Christ is addressing
2) The shift of ethos to the heart
3) The introduction of adultery and desire

Audience 27

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

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
Wikimedia Commons