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Called to Love Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body

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ISBN-10: 0770435742

ISBN-13: 9780770435745

Edition: 2009

Authors: Carl Anderson, Jose Granados

List price: $19.99
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A thoughtful, accessible work on the beauty of love and the splendor of the body, inspired by Pope John Paul II.Christianity has long been regarded as viewing the body as a threat to a person's spiritual nature and of denying its sexual dimension. In 1979, Pope John Paul II departed from this traditional dichotomy and offered an integrated vision of the human body and soul. In a series of talks that came to be known as “the theology of the body,” he explained the divine meaning of human sexuality and why the body provides answers to fundamental questions about our lives.InCalled to Love, Carl Anderson, chairman of the world’s largest catholic service organization, and Fr. Jose Granados…    
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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/31/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.28" wide x 8.03" long x 0.59" tall
Weight: 0.462
Language: English

Manuel Castells is Professor of Communication and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, as well as Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, Research Professor at the Open University of Catalonia, and Marvin and Joanne Grossman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Technology and Society at MIT. He is the author of, among other books, the three-volume work The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture.Carl Anderson is one of the nation's leading experts on teaching writing to students in grades K-12. He dedicates his energies exclusively…    

The Body Manifests the Person We Began Our Journey Of Reflection In This Book with John Paul II's identification of the key difference between man and the rest of the visible creation: "The rushing stream cannot wonder... but man can wonder!" (RT, 8). This wonder, we went on to see, is called forth by the richness of our experience of life-especially by the experience of love. Our task now is to ponder the indispensable role the body plays in this many-faceted experience of wonder.
Experience and Meaning
We all face the temptation to let life's current carry us along-to "go with the flow" without any resistance. But if we simply let a flood of experiences wash over us, we are in danger of losing the meaning of our lives. A recent survey of teenagers in Southampton, United Kingdom, revealed that this danger is anything but purely theoretical. The respondents, it turned out, possessed only a limited vocabulary to express the emotional quality of their response to the world. These teens suffered from what has been called "affective illiteracy": the inability to grasp and express the meaning of the experiences generated in us by our encounter with the world around us.
It isn't enough, then, simply to let our experiences wash over us. We need to plumb their depth. This exploration isn't a matter of "sampling" as many possibilities as we can, or of ratcheting up the volume of our existence, but requires us to ask ourselves questions such as these: Are we capable of distinguishing between experiences that build up our happiness and experiences that tear it down? Are we able to discern in our experiences something like a compass for our life's journey? In a word: Are we capable of perceiving the meaning of our experiences? We tend to put experience and meaning in separate boxes. We have already seen why this won't work. When man experiences the world, he necessarily experiences himself in the process. For the same reason, man's experience of the world always involves an at least minimal search for the meaning of his life. The sight of a majestic mountainscape doesn't just reveal the wonder of creation; it also affords us an opportunity to lay hold of our innate capacity for beauty and wonder. Since the question of man emerges from our contact with the world, experience always goes together with a search for meaning. Even the refusal to embark on this search is an answer to the question of meaning. We had the experience, we missed the meaning And approach to the meaning restores the experience In a different form. These lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "The Dry Salvages" underscore the point that meaning is not foreign to experience. Quite the contrary, meaning is an integral part of experience. So much so, in fact, that meaning makes our experience properly human in the first place. John Paul II's insight into this unity of meaning and experience guided his reflection on the theology of the body, which begins with an effort to recollect the authentic "feel" of man's experience in light of its deepest meaning. In a word, the pope guides us through the labyrinth of our lives using the golden thread of what he calls "original experiences." So what is an "original experience"?
The Original Experience