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Professor examines teachings of John Paul II

Theresa Civantos | Monday, October 8, 2007

Catholic teachings were re-examined Friday in “Theology of the Body 101,” a lecture exploring the fine line between sex, love and holiness in the Catholic Church.

Philosophy professor Adrian Reimers and his wife, Marie, spoke to an audience at the Center for Social Concerns. Reimers specializes in the life and works of Pope John Paul II.

“The Theology of the Body is a series of lectures from very early in John Paul II’s papacy in which he deliberately tried to overcome the latent Manichaeism that exists in the Church,” Reimers said. The lectures were weekly classroom-like teachings.

According to theologyofthebody.com, this series of 129 audiences was “the first major teaching project of John Paul II’s pontificate… providing a profoundly beautiful vision of human embodiment and erotic love. He gave this project the working title, ‘theology of the body.'”

“Despite its theme of human embodiment and erotic love, the Theology of the Body is not primarily about sex,” Reimers said. “It is about love, and therefore about holiness, because holiness is based on love.”

“Everything about John Paul II comes down to love,” Reimers said.

A major theme of the series is the difference between men and women.

“The Theology of the Body has to do with the meaning of masculinity and femininity,” Reimers said. “It says that we human beings are really important; we men are really important, we women are really important. We are made for love.”

The theme of male and female differences was notable for sophomore Erik Miller. “This talk was interesting,” Miller said. “It gave a different perspective on the different roles of men and women in the church.” Notre Dame’s Right to Life club sponsored the lecture as a conclusion to Respect Life week.