As editor at the women's section of Catholic Exchange, I've begun a series of articles that respond to Dr Alice vonHildebrand's critique of Christopher West's work on the theology of the body (yes, I know -- that's a twisty turny path). I think she wrote as lovingly as possible, offering an important fraternal correction that may serve to deepen our understanding of this rich subject.
The founder and director of the Theology of the Body Institute, Mr West has virtually made his name synonymous with the fascinating topic, which–in this sex-saturated culture–is at the forefront of the effort to evangelize teenagers and young adults. There are some who take issue with his approach, which can be roughly grouped in two categories: those who are troubled by his language–which is couched in today’s syntax and embellished by examples from the popular, secular media; and those who are troubled by his theological approach–which lays more emphasis on the revolutionary elements of the “theology of the body” than on the “hermeneutic of continuity.”
Part One: What Purity Isn't
Part Two: Necessary Fraternal Correction
Part Three: Reaching the "Objectively Disordered"
Part Four: Custody of the Eyes
Part Five: Three Views on Theology of the Body
(Stay tuned; more to follow)
ADDENDUM: for information on how to obtain Dawn Eden's excellent thesis on this topic, go here. For Barb Nicolosi's view, go here. More concerns raised here. We will run a few more pieces on Catholic Exchange next week.
NOTA BENE: I should mention that Christopher West generously wrote the forward to my book, The Authentic Catholic Woman, for which I am deeply grateful. His words there were quite unexpected, expressing his great desire for women to heal from the wounds caused by the lies fed to them in the sexual revolution (and his sincere contrition for any part in that deception). I found his contribution touching and appropriate, given the breadth of the book. For those who wish to read it in the coming year with a book club, I am happy to send a copy of a free study guide.