Man and Woman He Created Them is John Paul II’s seminal work on the bodily dimension of human identity, sexuality, marriage, and celibacy. First written while he was Archbishop of Kraków, then later revised and delivered as a series of catecheses after he became pope, this work was called “theology of the body” by John Paul II himself. In his momentous teaching, John Paul II has left us the core of his great vision, focused on the mystery of love extending from the Trinity, through Christ’s spousal relation with the Church, to the concrete bodies of men and women. With keen insight into the modern “split” between the person and the body, he presents an integral image of the human person, one rooted in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s living tradition.
This translation of the pope’s work, prepared by biblical scholar Michael Waldstein, allows us to enter into John Paul II’s profound vision. With the inclusion of material previously unpublished in English, and the rediscovery of John Paul II’s own headings for the work, the reader is able to follow the pope’s thought with clarity and confidence.
Complete with a comprehensive introduction, translator’s footnotes, and detailed index, this edition has been crafted with the kind of insight that builds more than 20 years of scholarship on John Paul II’s great gift to the Church.
Michael Waldstein is going to put many people in his debt with this superb piece of work, a labor of love shaped by an acute intelligence. The illuminating translation, the brilliant introduction, and the carefully crafted index will make this the standard English-language edition throughout the twenty-first century for scholars, for pastors, for students, and indeed for anyone interested in exploring John Paul II’s most creative contribution to human self-understanding.
—George Weigel, senior fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Now, for the first time in English, we have a professional, critical translation of these homilies. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” has been highly lauded as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) exposition on Christians sexual ethics, with a focus on the human person and the gift of the body. It is perhaps [John Paul II]’s greatest gift to the Church, especially as it was/is critical in the renewal of the Church after the devastating effects of the sexual revolution of the sixties and the irresponsible and childish rebellion of certain Catholic academics.
—Kevin Davis, ThM, University of Aberdeen
John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyla) (1920–2005) served as Pope for 26 years (1978–2005). In 1942, he felt called to the priesthood and began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow. Wojtyla was ordained to the priesthood on November 1, 1946, and shortly after, was sent to Rome where he worked under Garrigou-Lagrange. In 1958 he was appointed as the titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow and in 1964 was appointed as the archbishop or Krakow. Three years later, he was elevated to Cardinal.
In 1978, Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope, where he took on the name John Paul II. As Pope, he was instrumental in ending communism in his native Poland. He significantly improved the Catholic Church’s relationship with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century.