Theology of the Body talk given on St. John Paul II’s feast day

Sebastian Gonzalez
Staff Writer

On St. John Paul II’s feast day, Oct. 22, a theology professor presented the main points from a new book he wrote on Theology of the Body at a talk in the Gentile Gallery.

Michael Maria Waldstein, who holds a doctorate in philosophy and New Testament and is a renowned TOB scholar, gave a lecture on his new book, “Glory of the Logos in the Flesh,” which concerns John Paul’s contribution to theology and philosophy.

“This (will) be his magnum opus,” said Stephen Hildebrand, chair of the theology department, as he introduced Waldstein to the audience.

Waldstein presented the main features of his work, which he has spent over 30 years developing.

The book is broken down into three major parts for readers to understand, Waldstein said. The three parts — on Wojtyla’s works, the breadth of reason in the philosophical tradition, and a “map” of TOB — are meant to give a sense of direction for reading St. John Paul II, while understanding the philosophical and theological tradition within the context of the writings.

Waldstein said, “Once one understands this structure (of TOB), one can state the argument of ‘Theology of the Body’ in a single sentence.”

After a slideshow presentation on Waldstein’s book, three other theology professors from Franciscan University of Steubenville spoke.

When speaking on the second part of Waldstein’s book — The Breadth of Reason —, Donald Asci, who holds a doctorate in sacred theology, said, “That kind of (modern) personalism is just unable to cope with the procreative meaning of our sexuality. And it rejects it precisely because of, again, lacking the true sense of the person.”

Once the other panelists had finished speaking, a Q&A took place in the remaining few minutes of the lecture.

Graduate student Jesús Puentes said, “If I do change my studies to theology, it will be because of this talk.”

Freshman Teresita McCormick said, “It was actually the way the professors held themselves, their presence — slow, still, peaceful, certain, that made me want to understand better what they understand.”