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What is Theology of the Body?

Theology of the Body is the title given to a series of 129 talks given by Pope John Paul II from 1979-1984 based on a text he wrote before his election as the Bishop of Rome. 


TOB is not a presentation of new truths of our faith. Instead, it organizes ancient truth into a portrait of our salvation history that describes vocational life lived according to that story. Although the teaching is not new, JPII provides new terms and a new structure for presenting the answers to the questions of why we were created and what is our purpose in life. 

TOB will help students realize that sacrificial love is the pathway to participation in the divine mystery. 


Theology of the Body:  The study of God and the purpose of our existence as discovered and revealed through our bodies.

Why is It Important?

  • TOB provides a lens for us to see God’s plan of union, communion and love which brings life.


  • Satan’s plan is separation, fracture, and brokenness, which brings death.

  • TOB matters because it provides us a roadmap to happiness, human flourishing, and the satisfaction of the deepest desires of our hearts.

Our Origin & Our History

  • Christ Himself teaches us that, in order for us to understand the truth about our identity and destiny, we must look to the beginning to uncover God's intended plan for all of creation. 

  • With the entrance of original sin, the harmony of God's creation is ruptured at a foundational level. 

  • Thankfully, we are not left in our sin, and our Redeemer does not wait for us to ascend to Him. Rather, we have a Redeemer that descends into our sin and continually restores us in 'purity of heart'.

Our Destiny & Celibacy

  • Christ reveals a new dimension in the mystery of man. A new horizon is opened. Death is not the final end of man. God is God of the living. Life continues after death, and on the final day the body, too, will be resurrected. 

  • Christian celibacy is not a rejection of sexuality. Rather, it is meant to be a living out of the ultimate purpose and meaning of sexuality - union with Christ and the Church. 

Marriage & Sexual Union

  • The body has a "language" that is meant to proclaim the mystery of Christ's free, total, faithful, and fruitful love. This is precisely what spouses commit to at the altar. Marital intercourse, then, is meant to be a renewal of the marriage commitment itself, expressed not with words, but with the language of the body. 

  • All questions of sexual morality come down to one basic question: Is this act an authentic sign of God's free, total, faithful, fruitful love or is it not? If it is not, then it is a counterfeit to the love we really desire. 

Resources to Learn More

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