Man and Woman He Created Them is John Paul II’s seminal work on the bodily dimension of human identity, sexuality, marriage, and celibacy. First written while he was Archbishop of Kraków, then later revised and delivered as a series of catecheses after he became pope, this work was called “theology of the body” by John Paul II himself. In his momentous teaching, John Paul II has left us the core of his great vision, focused on the mystery of love extending from the Trinity, through Christ’s spousal relation with the Church, to the concrete bodies of men and women. With keen insight into the modern “split” between the person and the body, he presents an integral image of the human person, one rooted in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s living tradition.
This translation of the pope’s work, prepared by biblical scholar Michael Waldstein, allows us to enter into John Paul II’s profound vision. With the inclusion of material previously unpublished in English, and the rediscovery of John Paul II’s own headings for the work, the reader is able to follow the pope’s thought with clarity and confidence.
Complete with a comprehensive introduction, translator’s footnotes, and detailed index, this edition has been crafted with the kind of insight that builds more than 20 years of scholarship on John Paul II’s great gift to the Church.
With Logos Bible Software, Scripture passages appear on mouseover, and all cross-references link to the other resources in your digital library, making this collection easy to access and fun to read—a rich supplement to any study on John Paul II’s theology. Perform comprehensive searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for instance, every mention of “marriage” or “Trinity.”
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“Man is ‘alone’: this is to say that through his own humanity, through what he is, he is at the same time set into a unique, exclusive, and unrepeatable relationship with God himself.” (Page 151)
“If, vice versa, we want to retrieve also from the account of the Yahwist text the concept of ‘image of God,’ we can deduce that man became the image of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons, which man and woman form from the very beginning. The function of the image is that of mirroring the one who is the model, of reproducing its own prototype. Man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. He is, in fact, ‘from the beginning’ not only an image in which the solitude of one Person, who rules the world, mirrors itself, but also and essentially the image of an inscrutable divine communion of Persons.” (Page 163)
“When God-Yahweh says, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone’ (Gen 2:18), he affirms that, ‘alone,’ the man does not completely realize this essence. He realizes it only by existing ‘with someone’—and, put even more deeply and completely, by existing ‘for someone.’” (Page 182)
“The concept of original solitude includes both self-consciousness and self-determination.” (Page 151)
“Thus, historical man is rooted, so to speak, in his revealed theological prehistory; and for this reason, every point of his historical sinfulness must be explained (both in the case of the soul and of the body) with reference to original innocence.” (Page 143)
Michael Waldstein is going to put many people in his debt with this superb piece of work, a labor of love shaped by an acute intelligence. The illuminating translation, the brilliant introduction, and the carefully crafted index will make this the standard English-language edition throughout the twenty-first century for scholars, for pastors, for students, and indeed for anyone interested in exploring John Paul II’s most creative contribution to human self-understanding.
—George Weigel, senior fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Now, for the first time in English, we have a professional, critical translation of these homilies. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” has been highly lauded as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) exposition on Christians sexual ethics, with a focus on the human person and the gift of the body. It is perhaps [John Paul II]’s greatest gift to the Church, especially as it was/is critical in the renewal of the Church after the devastating effects of the sexual revolution of the sixties and the irresponsible and childish rebellion of certain Catholic academics.
—Kevin Davis, ThM, University of Aberdeen
John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyla) (1920–2005) served as Pope for 26 years (1978–2005). In 1942, he felt called to the priesthood and began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow. Wojtyla was ordained to the priesthood on November 1, 1946, and shortly after, was sent to Rome where he worked under Garrigou-Lagrange. In 1958 he was appointed as the titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow and in 1964 was appointed as the archbishop or Krakow. Three years later, he was elevated to Cardinal.
In 1978, Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope, where he took on the name John Paul II. As Pope, he was instrumental in ending communism in his native Poland. He significantly improved the Catholic Church’s relationship with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century.
Michael Waldstein is chancellor and Francis of Assisi Professor of New Testament at the International Theological Institute, Austria. Together with his wife, Susie, he is a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Waldstein earned his BA at Thomas Aquinas College, California, a PhD in philosophy at the University of Dallas, an SSL in Scripture from the Biblicum in Rome, and a ThD in New Testament and Christian origins at Harvard Divinity School. Before his present appointment, he was associate professor of New Testament at the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife have eight children.