One of the most significant contributions of Pope John Paul II to the church, and arguably to the culture, was his development of a theology of the body. This theology explores the rich meaning and vocation of human embodiment, of the body-person, in light of the fundamental truths of creation, fall into sin, and redemption in Jesus Christ. In this book, Eduardo J. Echeverria inquires into the biblical, theological, and philosophical foundations of the Pope’s theology of the body. In a wide-ranging discussion of a Catholic theology of revelation, biblical hermeneutics, and a biblical perspective on the Christ-centered dynamics of the moral life, Echeverria clearly establishes the fundamental principles needed for a full understanding of John Paul II’s thought. He probes the philosophical foundations of the Pope’s thought in the context of a Catholic theology of nature, sin, and grace.
The book concludes with an analysis of the normative implications of the Pope’s theology for sexual ethics and provides a novel and provocative application of the theology of the body to the morality of homosexuality. Echeverria’s study of John Paul II’s theology of the body helps us to make sense of how the pope’s theology deepens our understanding of the Catholic teaching that “the human body shares in the dignity of the ‘image of God'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 364).