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What is Theology of the Body (ToB)?

The “Theology of the Body” refers to a series of 133 talks given by Pope Saint John Paul II from September 1979 to November 1984 at the Vatican as part of his catechetical service to the Church. Taken together they fill a 600 page book and every other Theology of the Body resource is essentially an unpacking of what the Holy Father has delivered in these talks.

The core of Theology of the Body can be summed up in the statement “Gift expresses the essential truth of the human body.” It affirms that our sexuality is the ability to love and be loved, in and through our bodies, and that this “spousal meaning” actually reflects the very nature of who God is as a communion of Persons, as Love. TOB speaks positively about the body, sexuality and sexual pleasure but it does so always in the context of the truth of God’s design as theology. (It is not biology.)

Pope Benedict speaks on ToB


ToB Resources

Hamau I Loko Foundation


ToB Resources for Families/Youth

Theology of the Body for Teens: High School Edition by Ascension Press

Sex and the Teenager: Choices and Decisions by Sr. Kieran Sawyer

Learning about L.I.F.E.:  Love, Infatuation, Friendship, Exploitation by Sr. Kieran Sawyer and Kathy Amadei

Theology of the Body for Teens: Middle School Edition by Ascension Press

Do I Opt In? The Right Response to Pono Choices (PDF)

Chastity and Human Sexuality Education Within the Family: Basic Guidelines (PDF)

Chastity and Human Sexuality Education in The Early Years of Childhood (PDF)

Chastity Education in Stages: Puberty and Teen Years (PDF)


ToB Resources for Young Adults

Freedom to Love by Christopher West

You Tube Clips by Jason Evert and Others


ToB Resources for Adults

An Introduction to Theology of the Body: Discovering the Master Plan of Your Life by Christopher West

Blog, Books and Events Offered by Christopher West


Additional ToB Resources

Theology of the Body Institute

Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family by the Pontifical Council for the Family

Catechetical Formation in Chaste Living by the USCCB

How Far Can We Go and Other Resources by Leah Perrault

ToB Resources from the Diocese of Oakland


For questions, please contact Jayne Mondoy, Director, Office of Faith Formation: Email or call 808.203.6745.