April 14, 2015

“We’re born with a body and how we use it matters.” This sounds like an introduction to the Catholic Theology of the Body. But the quote comes not from St. John Paul II but from the narrator of a new film, Fair Chase, which explores contemporary attempts to understand the ancient practice of persistence hunting. Persistence hunting, sometimes called endurance hunting, involves a hunter tracking and wearing out his prey to the point of exhaustion. Wolves and wild dogs hunt… Read more

April 8, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Here’s a post by a Hillsdale student who was not in the TOB class but was inspired by the project nevertheless. It honors my favorite show, Mad Men, which aired its final season premiere on Easter Sunday. (No need to worry about spoilers.)] The end of Lent has come. This season of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving is over, and with the celebration of Easter just beginning (it’s a season, not just a day!) a reflection on those sacrifices by which we… Read more

April 2, 2015

It is Good Friday, and we are reminded of the day that promise gave way to despair.  A weak, powerless man hung before a crowd to be beaten, mocked, and killed.  All the rhetoric of salvation and eternal life reduced to naked, quivering flesh. To the modern mind, the death of Christ is evidence against Christ: What kind of God would create a world where human beings must endure such suffering?  As Flannery O’Connor observed in her introduction to A… Read more

March 26, 2015

I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, Silver Linings Playbook and (hopefully) found it intriguing. Perhaps you think the it is about mental illness, family, redemption, etc. Personally, I have concluded that Silver Linings Playbook (SLP) is a story about human sexuality, and more specifically, how we come to understand our sexuality through experience. Amazingly, this idea of experience at the heart of SLP is also at the heart of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB). As I… Read more

March 22, 2015

[Editor’s Note: I just found this lovely piece co-written by my friend, the late Stratford Caldecott. It’s an articulate reminder of what this blog is all about.] It is often assumed that the theology of the body is all about sex. But it is not so simple. Sexual relations are only a part of something much bigger and deeper. Before we can follow what the Pope is saying about the gospel of the body, we need to understand his method…. Read more

March 19, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Here’s a guest post from the Theology of the Body Institute. I haven’t seen this movie yet, but after this post I certainly want to.] I was a young boy in the 1970’s and 80’s, coming of age in the early days of the movie magic of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas; of galaxies far, far away, of Close Encounters, and hidden mysteries, of Lost Arks and great adventures. I can honestly say my formation and invitation into wonder and transcendence was… Read more

March 15, 2015

[Editor’s Note: I’ve been mulling over these two music videos for several months now, and I finally realized that a post about them would be a good fit for Love Among the Ruins. I hope you find this edifying and inspiring.] Marriage is hard work. The difficulty primarily stems from the frustrating fact that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and according to my five-year-old who was recently studying the solar system, “Those planets are really, really different.” It’s not… Read more

March 11, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Here is a beautiful post focused on one canto in Dante’s Commedia. I love the way this begins. How liturgically appropriate!] Midway through this Lent, we may find ourselves, like the poet Dante, in the dark wood of sin, laboring to unite both mind and body in our Lenten ascent. In canto V of the Inferno, Dante dramatizes how one sin, lust, violates the communion of persons which is at the center of St. John Paul II’s Theology of… Read more

March 9, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Here is an interview with Mary Healy, author of Men and Women Are From Eden, which is my personal favorite primer on the Theology of the Body. If you are thinking about contributing to Love Among the Ruins but lack confidence in your TOB skills, then please read this very handy guide. You’ll be able to write a great post before you know it!] Q: The title seems to allude to the popular relationship book from the United States… Read more

March 5, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Here’s a fun post by one of my favorite people on the actual Day of the Dude (the anniversary of the film’s release date which is observed by adoring fans all over the world). It’s a great day to light a candle for the Coen Brothers.] Let me explain to you something about the Dude.  The Big Lebowski appeared in 1998 and enjoyed mixed commercial and critical success.  Since then, however, it has gained a mighty cult following.  Devotees quote the film incessantly. … Read more

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