Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blogging the Body

If all goes well, a new blog is coming your way: Blogging the Body. Beginning this week, a group of seven women from a spectrum of perspectives (say that ten times fast!) will be reading and discussing John Paul II's lectures on the theology of the body. We're starting from the beginning and going all the way through. If you've never read the lectures, this may be a neat (one of my most-hated adjectives!) way to dabble your toes.

I can't promise a uniformally orthodox reading of the text--it's more of a Bible-study kind of scenario, I think. Here's what the intention is:

"In 1979 JP II began a series of Wednesday addresses on embodied Christian sexuality and love which were subsequently collected and published under the title Theology of the Body. In total, there are 129 lectures divided into six cycles (Marriage [1-23], Adultery [24-50], Resurrection of the Body [51-72], Celibacy and Virginity [73-86], the Sacrament of Marriage [87-113], and Contraception [114-129]). TOTB already enjoys a cult-like following from many sentimental devotees. Theologians have addressed TOTB, it is the major work guiding a movement known as The New "Feminism," and study guides have been published to tell the reader how she should respond. We are not exactly interested in any of that. Nor are we interested in reductive and angry 2nd-Wave critiques. We're post-Judith Butler now and discourse matters, or something like that. We are, however, interested in engaging with the text in a quasi formalist way—meaning, reading and responding to the texts without theory or authoritative glosses... The objective will be to intellectually and spiritually engage with the text... We are interested in critical-, philosophical- and theological-oriented responses but we also want each response to be made by an individual embodied feminine subject—i.e. a real woman with a real mind and a real body."

Could be interesting, so check it out once in a while.


Melanie B said...

looks interesting. wish I had the book to follow along.

lgs said...

You can find the lectures at

Melanie B said...

Thanks, I'll check it out.

BTW, Do you know whether that is the new translation or the old? I've heard there were many problems with the original English translations that have been corrected in the new book.

Still, even if it is the old, I can follow along until I can afford the book. :)

lars-gunnar.sommarback said...

ewtn has the old translation (from
L'Osservatore Romano). Can also be found at (with colours!). Hoping you won't have any problems until you can afford the book!