What is the Theology of the Body?

The Theology of the Body is, at its core, a way of living. It is a philosophy and a theology that explains the meaning of life and the joy of humanity. It was created by the late Pope John Paul II.

The Theology of the Body is exciting, especially in its ability to answer the deepest, most fundamental questions of life. How do our desires lead us to happiness and joy? What does it mean to be both a body and a spiritual being? What is our destiny? Our vocation? How do we find freedom? What does it mean to be me?

From September 1979 to November 1984, most of John Paul II's Wednesday audiences discussed how the body reveals our divine calling. These lectures were later compiled into a single work entitled The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan. The most recent translation of the lectures is called Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body.

In the brief five years that John Paul II delivered the Theology of the Body, theology and philosophy moved light years ahead of where it had been in understanding the purpose of human life. The Theology of the Body shows us that God had a plan for us when He made our bodies, and we can discover that plan when we look at our selves and our sexuality. God's original design for human sexuality points us to the dignity of the human person and all that comes with it. We can see how our sexuality was distorted through sin but restored through Christ, and how our vocations as men and women enable us to reach towards the divine.