Scholars will explore Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body from several perspectives in the latest issue of St. Thomas More College’s academic journal, “Second Spring: an International Journal of Faith and Culture.”
Stratford Caldecott, editor of “Second Spring,” said in a press release from the New Hampshire college that John Paul II’s theology of the body “injected new life into the arteries of Catholic thought.” While the Church had previously spoken on marriage and sexuality, modern pressures and the advance of contraceptive technology “made it increasingly urgent to address the issues around sexuality in a new language and with a new frankness.”
John Paul II was a “great communicator,” in Caldecott’s view, but his thought sometimes needed to be explained. The editor criticized a tendency to over-popularize the late Pontiff’s teaching in a way that neglects its full implications.
“The Church’s teaching on sexuality goes to the heart of our nature as human persons and our supernatural calling: it is possible to see its full beauty and live it only in the presence of Christ,” he commented.
John Paul II’s teaching is in part a defense of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which reiterated Christian condemnation of contraceptives and artificial birth control.
While the destructive effects of contraceptive use are easy to show, Caldecott said, it is harder to show that the teachings of Humanae Vitae result in “happiness and sanctity.” He expressed hope that the new issue of “Second Spring” will help readers gain a greater understanding of Church teaching and confidence to live according to it.
Articles in the latest issue include Caldecott’s “Gender as Sign of Trinitarian Love,” Mary Shivanandan’s “Spousal Nature of Feminine Beauty,” and “Virtues and the Communio Personarum” by Alan O’Sullivan, O.P.
The issue may be purchased through the Thomas More College website at http://www.ThomasMoreCollege.edu/Publications