A Critique of Christopher West's "Theology of the Body"
#11
winoblue1 Wrote:It is the traditional teaching of the Church that the religious celibate state is more perfect than the married state....

That's in ToB too. As many have said, West is a poor interpreter. Read the actual addresses for yourself. In fact an entire cycle of talks on "Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom" is part of the ToB

Quote:How sex can combat the devil makes no sense whatsoever, as even if the two engage is proper sinless relations, the child conceived is conceived in sin, meaning they have original sin on their soul.

So how this can at all combat the devil is beyond my understanding. If anything it advances the Kingdom of Satan by introducing a new recruit, unless the child is promptly baptized...

I don't know why you would assume the child would not be promptly baptized and properly catechized. It's completely inconsistent to say the parents are "engag[ing] is proper sinless relations" (sic) and then assume they won't baptize or catechize their children. Therefore every child born is a member of the Church militant, a solider for Christ and called to be a saint.
Sounds like a battle plan to me.
Perhaps more basically, it doesn't make sense to criticize a theological exposition on one topic for not addressing a completely different topic more fully.
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#12
Since sex is the physical expression of the Sacrament of Marriage, yes, it can be said to combat the devil. That's why as Smile Bug commented, it could be considered a sacramental as it gives grace when properly done (see Aquinas on this ). It is also properly fulfilling the duties of your vocation, which is inherently pleasing to God.
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#13
McNider Wrote:If you are going to read about the Church's teachings on sex, skip West. There are other problems besides those mentioned here. Read von Hildebrand's work re: purity and marriage instead.
Seriously. Von Hildebrand is to the point in all of his works. Man and Woman, Purity and Marriage, In Defense of Purity, and his essay on Humanae Vitae A Sign of Contradiction. They are difficult to find, but check out the library (especially at university).
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#14
SmileBug is inspiring me to pull out my copy of Shakespeare's works. Now there was a man who knew how to write a romantic comedy.
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#15
winoblue1 Wrote:If anything it advances the Kingdom of Satan by introducing a new recruit, unless the child is promptly baptized...

No. Just plain no. Among other problems, don't you see an possible excuse for abortion in such reasoning?
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#16
I don't know what the Remnant editor is talking about, but I've read a few of Christopher West's commentaries on Theology of the Body and heard him speak a few times, and he spends a lot of time talking about the important role celibate men & women play in the Church.  Reading Theology of the Body was what finally changed my life, brought me back to my Catholic faith and taught me the true meaning of chastity.  And I know I'm not the only person of my generation with that story.  While it is true that Mr. West sometimes gets a bit carried away with his own ideas, books like "Good News about Sex and Marriage" are a great starting point for people who are unfamiliar with the Church's teachings about chastity.  I will admit that some ToB types go off the deep end and claim that Pope John Paul II's teachings were "revolutionary," but I see them more as a continuation of the Church's teaching on sexuality rephrased to meet the needs of Catholics of the 1980's.
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#17
JubilateDeo83 Wrote:......While it is true that Mr. West sometimes gets a bit carried away with his own ideas, books like "Good News about Sex and Marriage" are a great starting point for people who are unfamiliar with the Church's teachings about chastity. 

Mate...go read it again.
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#18
I saw one of his talks, and I remember being impressed by some things and annoyed by others. He goes too far tryng to be sensational and "revolutionary", and makes some pretty big errors that most people can't distinguish, but I did agree with his reflections on St Teresa of Avila/ Catholic mystical literature, and definitely agree that the Church threw the baby out with the bathwater when they condemned Sex so much that they (in many minds at least) implicitly condemned the Body along with it, which is of course not a truly Catholic mindset. I also was impressed by the effect his talk had on young people, many of whom walked away genuinely committed to living chaste/ celibate lives, and seeing the sex-culture for the sick thing that it is. The one thing that annoys me most when looking back on it is the way he dressed up a few very simple and good points in so much "gee I'm cool" hoop-la, which is why many young Catholics think he's some kind of oracle.
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#19
Quote:This is an issue I'd like to know more about. The world makes sex carry so much; I'd like to know how important it really is. Sure, it feels important, like everything else we enjoy doing, but I've never understood why it's supposed to be so important in a marriage that if you're not doing it often enough, your marriage must be in trouble.

In any case, talking about sex as if it were religious is just ridiculous. Even Christians speak as if sex is so much weightier than bringing an immortal soul into the world, which is, after all, the primary purpose of sex.

TOB is revolutionary for mindsets like this. Not that it's wrong, but for a majority of the Catholic laity the views that the Church truly has towards sex and marriage is revolutionary for them. I've read Christopher West's work and he constantly makes note that this is not something that John Paul brought into the world, but what the Church has believed since its roots. It's not revolutionary in what the Church teaches, but revolutionary to so many individuals who have had no idea the sacramentality of our sexuality.

Quote:He goes too far tryng to be sensational and "revolutionary", and makes some pretty big errors that most people can't distinguish

But you see, for a lot of people, especially the younger generations, this sensationalism is what needs to hit their eardrum to get their attention. Sex has become so construed and exhausted by the media that the good news of sex needs to prevail over the multitude of negative predispositions to the glorious aspects of its nature.

I am very interested in what you consider errors Benno, not to hold C. West infallible, but so I can consider your points myself.

Quote:If you are going to read about the Church's teachings on sex, skip West. There are other problems besides those mentioned here.

I would like to hear your points as well if could McNider.
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