Wednesday, February 8, 2012

At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the New Evangelization by Christopher West. Image Books, 2012.


At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the New Evangelization   by Christopher West. Image Books, 2012.

The Theology of the Body is a response to the sexual revolution, or more appropriately, the sexual disintegration of our culture. Marriage and the family is at great risk today due to the trivialization of sex, the sexual objectification of the human person, the widespread acceptance of pornography as normal-even accepted and promoted—and the gift of human life has become simply another consumer good to be used and discarded at whim.

Christopher West has interpreted the teachings Blessed Pope John Paul II gave during his papacy into a fine work At the Heart of the Gospel. The Covenant nature of the Incarnation is explored in light of baptism, marriage, and the Paschal Mystery.

For those familiar with the Theology of the Body, West’s new book goes beyond his introduction. And for those who have read about the Theology of the Body, this work is a fine theological treatise as the author delves deeper into the mystical union of the covenant of love.

In a culture that is addicted to pleasure and consumerism, where pornography has gone mainstream and is used to sell every kind of material good to human beings who have been reduced to mere consumers of such goods, the theology of the body may well serve as a remedy, an anti-dote to the culture of death.

Sadly, whenever human sexuality is brought up in discussions either there are giggles or comments that sex should not be discussed. In actuality, it is precisely because sex is sacred that it must be discussed and recognized for its great dignity. As it is, sexual expression has been trivialized to just one more consumer good or choice of entertainment, or worse, tawdry bathroom tales.

Granted that while there are critics to the theology of the body who argue that it reduces sex to mere physicality while purportedly repudiating such reduction, the theology of the body still deserves a hearing in the public square, and, as such, it is a prophetic witness to the Incarnation, the beauty and struggles of marriage and family life, the Sacramentality of the Human Body, and the dignity of the Human Person as created in the image of God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above book for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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