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

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Image (first published 2009)
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I was looking forward to reading this book, which is described as "A thoughtful, accessible work on the beauty of love and the splendor of the body, inspired by Pope John Paul II.". While I am not a Catholic, I had a great deal of respect for Pope John Paul II, and was hoping for some insightful words and thoughts on love from him. The book started out slowly for me, but there were parts that I could relate to, such as a section of virtues which states "A true friend does not sit in judgement of ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Cate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Review cross-posted at my blog:

I was sent Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II’s Theology of the Body as a free First Reads giveaway from Goodreads. It was written by Carl Anderson and Jose Granados, both professors of the United States Session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. I was excited to receive this particular volume, because I have previously read Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body as well as several interpretations of the wo
Aug 18, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, first-reads
I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. I was intrigued by the title, as I've been wanting to learn more about John Paul II's Theology of the Body. That being said, for whatever reason, it took me forever to read this book!

JPII's Theology of the Body is actually from a series of talks that the Pope gave during his Wednesday audiences over a period of a few years. It's basically a series of teachings that shows the holiness of God's design of the male and female body, as the Bi
Chaffee Viets
I gave this book a shot... and I just cannot in good conscience recommend it. While I appreciate that it conveys what Catholics see at truth, it is not what I expected, and I consider myself a devout Catholic.

That it calls people out on certain choices they make does not bother me, but it is certainly something that other reviewers have had a great deal of trouble with. In that sense, I would say not to read this book if you are expecting it to confirm choices that are not seen as doctrinally co
Aug 01, 2012 Lourdes rated it it was amazing
I am almost done reading this book, but I wanted to write a short review. I'm really grateful that I was sent this book mainly because reading this book reminds me of my Theology classes back in college. They really did a wonderful job explaning JP2 teachings. He was an amazing person who understood changes in today's society and helps people cope and understand the human capacity to love. I will go back and read the parts I highlighted, and will definitely keep this book!
Dec 18, 2009 Shannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, first-reads
I won this book in a giveaway. It is not the typical type of book I would choose to read, but I did give it a try. Let me also say that I am not Catholic, but I am a Christian and thought the book would be centered on the Christian faith. For most parts of the book, this did hold true. However, some parts were only Catholic teachings (supposedly), and I found that I (as well as some of my Catholic friends) disagreed with a few of those issues.

Overall, this book addressed many issues with which m
Aug 18, 2013 Catherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Beware of Christians bearing "gifts". This book is a must read if only because it puts the connections in Roman Catholic theology between Christ's suffering, marriage and the conception of children so baldly. So shockingly. In fact, this book is saying that in vitro fertilization is idolatrous and it is saying not that suffering is a condition of human genetic construction, but that it is a spiritual and ontological deep structure: it's a necessity. And the suffering requires the suffering of th ...more
Oct 09, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful, eye-opening book for me. I always feel that people are so completely surrounded and saturated by liberal American pop-culture, that we are not even aware of alternative Christian ideas about how to live. Talk about radical and counter-cultural! Jesus was put to death because his teachings were considered so dangerous to the cultural and religious leaders at the time. The same is true again. Jesus preaching in America today would be "put to death" by a media that will not he ...more
Zacaro Caro
I've read some reviews saying this book isn't accessible to non-Catholics, I think that this isn't the sort of book I'd recommend to many Catholics either. This is the type work I'd expext to find in a theology journal at a seminary. I'm not sure who the intended audience is. It's written like a scholarly essay and references some plays that I'm interested in reading from the young pope JPII before he was the pope, this and Dante's Devine Comedy are his main references. I had read Dante's works ...more
May 30, 2009 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I really had an open mind reading this book, having a different religious background I was very interested on how this book would put a different view on things. Many times it gave a new insight on a concept I already knew other times I didn't agree with what it was being said. The hardest thing about this book is that I felt like it was really geared towards a Catholic reader. I felt like because I never have read a lot of the references they made I should stop and read all them before finishin ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
I am very happy I received Called to Love as a first read selection. It took me a while to read it, but it was worth it. I read some and let it soak in. Carl Anderson and Jose Granados take John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and put it terms that are both on point and understandable. The church’s stand on certain subjects such as birth control may seem out of step with current thinking. The church’s stand is beautifully explained in this book. This should be a must read for all young people so ...more
May 21, 2009 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like the other reviewer, I too found this book a little too geared for the Catholic audience for my taste. Being a Christian, I was looking forward to reading this, as I am always interested in reading books pertaining to faith. I was even more excited to win this book as a giveaway. However, not being Catholic, I was overwhelmed. I feel that the book description as it was listed is a little misleading as to the true content of the book.

On a positive note- the author obviously is a very talente
Regan Leigh
Jan 28, 2014 Regan Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book that is very clear in explaining John Paul II's Theology of the Body. I found the sections on the vocation of marriage and the role of family in society to be particularly enlightening with a few very novel concepts for me to ponder.
Aug 28, 2009 Cat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was really hoping that this book would be more accessible to non-Catholic readers. I am not Catholic, but my husband is and we were married in a Catholic church. I learned of the Theology of the body during our required pre-marrital couseling and I was interested in reading this book because of it. I would reccommend this book to Catholic readers as it may be too Catholic-oriented for us non-Catholics.
Jan 26, 2013 Meg rated it did not like it
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

I don't think this book was made for common lay people. If so, it failed at being accesible. It seems more like a book for someone studying theology in a graduate program who has a lot of foundational background information.

I did get a few things from the book, but otherwise my mind glazed over as I read it.
Christina Grace
The only introduction to John Paul II's Theology of the Body that I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone. It is beautifully written and the nuance of JP II's original addresses comes through, which is difficult to find in books about ToB.
Christine Alcott
Really eye-opening. Theology of the Body is clearly still being explored and studied. This book takes another look at JPII's Wednesday Catechesis and brings it to a fuller, more fruitful application to daily life.
Feb 13, 2010 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent reading, but you have to concentrate on the messages. If you do, this is a powerful, thought-provoking book. I am not finished yet but I really enjoy it.
Dec 26, 2011 Conor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible introduction and overview of the theology of the body. A friend recommended this book and it was excellent. The authors are to be commended.
Mar 24, 2010 Erik marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erik by: Columbia magazine
Shelves: catholic
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The 13th supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl A. Anderson has led the Knights and their families since 2000 to unprecedented levels of charitable giving and support for their communities and Church. Under Mr. Anderson’s leadership, membership has grown to more than 1.9 million Knights, who together in 2014 alone donated over $173.5 million to charity and provided more than 71.5 million ...more
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“It is good that you exist and that we exist together.” It’s only when lovers recognize this depth dimension in each other that their love becomes hardy enough to outlast changes in their feelings or alterations in their qualities and attributes. What genuine lovers care about most is not simply whether the beloved can give him- or herself freely to them in return. True lovers who have attained the maturity of love are able to recognize that the beloved him- or herself is a gift,” 0 likes
“So in every situation in which we experience the sexual value of a person, love demands integration, meaning the incorporation of that value in the value of the person, or indeed its subordination to the value of the person” (LR, 123).” 0 likes
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