Love and Responsibility

Love and Responsibility
Love and Responsibility.jpg
Cover to the English first edition
Author Karol Wojtyła
Original title Miłość i Odpowiedzialność
Translator H. T. Willetts
Cover artist Roxanne Mei Lum
Country Poland
Language Polish
Subject Love and Human Sexuality
Publisher William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., London and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., New York City
Publication date
Published in English
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback) & Audio book
Pages 319
ISBN 0-89870-445-6
241/.66 20
LC Class BT708 .J6313 1993

Love and Responsibility is a book written by Karol Wojtyła before he became Pope John Paul II and was originally published in Polish in 1960 and in English in 1981.[1][2][3] A new, completely updated and original translation was published in 2013.[4] Fr. Wojtyła was originally inspired to write the book while being a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin,[5] through the experiences he had in teaching young Catholics.

Background [ edit ]

While at the university, Fr. Wojtyła gathered a group of about 20 young people, who began to call themselves ‘Rodzinka’, the "little family". They met for prayers, philosophical discussions, and helping the blind and sick. The group eventually grew to approximately 200 participants, and their activities expanded to include annual skiing and kayaking trips.[6] The insight he gained from these meetings and discussions helped him develop the raw material for the text.

Description [ edit ]

The work consists of five chapters; "The Person and the Sexual Urge"; "The Person and Love"; "The Person and Chastity"; "Justice to the Creator"; and "Sexology and Ethics".[3] It is described as 'a defence of the traditional Church teachings on marriage from a new philosophical standpoint'.[7] In his introduction to the first edition, Fr. Wojtyla describes his reasons for writing the book as being "born principally of the need to put the norms of Catholic sexual morality on a firm basis, a basis as definitive as possible, relying on the most elementary and incontrovertible moral truths and the most fundamental values or goods".[8]

Fr. Wojtyła writes that marital sexual intercourse is the best image of God who is love, for he sees the human body as the only one capable of making the invisible — the spiritual and the divine — visible.[1][9][10] He says that human beings were created by God for a purpose: to be persons who freely choose to love, to give themselves as persons who express their self-giving through their bodies. Thus, sexual intercourse between husband and wife is a symbol of their total mutual self-donation, and further fosters, strengthens and enriches it not just for the present but also for the future.[1][10] For Fr. Wojtyła, "The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and divine."[1][11][12][13]

Insights into gender [ edit ]

Wojtyła's conception of gender flows from his philosophy of the human person. He posits a theistic humanism grounded in Imago Dei: mankind in the image and likeness of God.[15] A human being is an integrated body and soul, with a complementary union of two genders, male and female.[16]

Wojtyła's philosophy is based on the phenomenological tradition, which deals with the subjective experience of humans and how culture, language, upbringing, and biases all affect the way individuals see the objective world. The ethical system he presents appears heavily centered on actions and deeds.[17] However he argues that there is a metaphysical reality in which human subjects realize themselves and ground themselves in it by acting in freedom.[17] Specifically, the metaphysical realism is God and His creation of man in His own image and likeness. Yet, there is not a divide between man's subjectiveness and his metaphysical reality. Wojtyla refers to one's own subjective experience as "lived experience" or "inner life" and argues that an individual's conscious perception of this interior life is the experience of oneself as an acting self rooted in a metaphysical reality.[15]

This interior life of a person rooted in the metaphysical reality of Imago Dei is what shapes John Paul II's conception of gender. He argues that since God is in a triune relation of love, if man is created in His image then man should also be in a relation of love. The complementarity of the two sexes, then, is rooted in a relationship of love, and the very differences between men and women allow them to exist in this relationship together.[16] Since man is a composite of body and soul, and since the body makes visible the invisible nature of the soul, the very fact that men and womens' bodies physically complement each other is proof of their relationship of love.[16] As men and women are both created in Imago Dei they are both equal in dignity, although they are different. For Wojtyła, those differences are what allows men and women to exist coherently together in a union of love, reflecting man's deepest identity.

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b c d Wojtyła, Karol. Love and Responsibility: 1981
  2. ^ "How not to be used: Love and Responsibility – Catholic Online". Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  3. ^ a b "A Summary of Karol Wojtyła's Love and Responsibility by William E. May". Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  4. ^ Translated by Grzegorz Ignatik, published by Pauline Books & Media, Boston, MA.
  5. ^ Weigel, George (2001). Witness of Hope – The Biography of Pope John Paul II. HarperCollins.
  6. ^ "Pope John Paul II: A Light for the World". United States Council of Catholic Bishops. 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
  7. ^ Kuhiwczak, Piotr (Dr.) (1 January 2007). "A literary Pope". Polish Radio. 2007,2009 Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  8. ^ Wojtyla, Karol (1981). Love and Responsibility. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. pp. 16. ISBN 978-0-89870-445-7.
  9. ^ Karol Woytyla, Love and Responsibility, San Francisco, Ignatius Press 1993
  10. ^ a b "Holy Spirit Interactive: Edward P. Sri – Love and Responsibility: The Battle for Purity". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  11. ^ John Paul II, Pope, 1920-2005 (1986). The theology of marriage & celibacy : catechesis on marriage and celibacy in the light of the resurrection of the body (English ed.). Boston: Daughters of St. Paul. ISBN 0819873330. OCLC 14451229. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Christopher West. "What is the Theology of the Body & Why is it Changing so Many Lives?". Catholic Education Resource Centre. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  13. ^ "Love and Responsibility: The Person and Love". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  14. ^ "BrainyQuote: Pope John Paul II Quotes". [[copyright|]] 2007,2009 Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  15. ^ a b Gonnella, Mark W.; Society of Catholic Social Scientists (2014). "Authentic Sexual Freedom: John Paul II's Personalism as a Response to Humanistic Psychology". Catholic Social Science Review. 19: 61–86. doi:10.5840/cssr2014197. ISSN 1091-0905.
  16. ^ a b c Sutton, Agneta (July 2006). "The Complementarity and Symbolism of the Two Sexes: Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar and John Paul II". New Blackfriars. 87 (1010): 418–433. doi:10.1111/j.0028-4289.2006.00158.x. ISSN 0028-4289.
  17. ^ a b Wolter, Maria M.; Philosophy Documentation Center (2013). "Examining the Need to Complement Karol Wojtyła's Ethical Personalism through an Ethics of Inner Responses, Fundamental Moral Attitudes, and Virtues". American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. 87 (1): 97–115. doi:10.5840/acpq20138715. ISSN 1051-3558.

Sources [ edit ]

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