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At the Heart of the Gospel: About the Book & Author

Christopher West has gone to the desert ... and come back stronger than ever. Those who may previously have thought his work was one-sided in its celebration of the body and sexuality will find here, brought out more clearly than ever, the deep balance and integration that has always been the foundation of his work.

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop of Saint Louis

Chairman, USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations


As a former professor of West's, I may be biased in his favor, but I can honestly say that he has taught me a great deal through this magnificently developed and theologically sound work. His balanced and insightful analyses make it clear that West has immersed himself in the great mystics, Fathers, and doctors of the Church. His treatment of a delicate question of foreplay by married couples is perhaps the finest I have ever read. In short, this is a magnificent theological work that ought to be widely read by all interested in the Theology of the Body and the new evangelization.

William E. May

Emeritus Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America.


West's highly anticipated work At the Heart of the Gospel is in keeping with the man I have come to know and respect since our close collaboration on the new English translation of TOB. In short, this balanced and judicious work demonstrates what I have long understood: West knows John Paul II's TOB as few others do and he shows great theological skill in presenting, explaining, and upholding the late Pope's teaching. He grasps its letter with remarkable completeness and is led faithfully by its spirit. He is to be commended for his courage in defending John Paul II's teaching (and the theological tradition upon which it's based) in the face of strong opposition.

Michael Waldstein

Max Seckler Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University


The beatification of Pope John Paul II is more than the Church's official recognition of his sanctity. John Paul II's teaching is now bequeathed to the Church in a new way — not only by his authority as Pope, but also by his personal experience of sanctity. Christopher West is an authentic witness to the transformative power of John Paul II's teaching and this book accurately captures the meaning of his Theology of the Body and its critical importance for the new evangelization.

Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete

Theologian, Author, and Founding Professor of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Washington D.C.


Theology of the Body is John Paul II's synthesis and analysis of the Church's theological tradition on what it means to be human. At the Heart of the Gospel is a book that provides an intellectually clear summary, synthesis, analysis, and catechism of John Paul II's Theology of the Body. As a professor of homiletics I consider this book a guiding light for how to proclaim the gospel to the modern world. It is Christopher West's Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

Fr. Fred Gaglia

Professor of Homiletics, St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver


Why should you read this book? Because Christopher West is the "translator" of Pope John Paul the Great's Theology of the Body into clear, simple, popular language; and the Theology of the Body is the Church's answer to the great heresy of our time, the "Sexual Revolution"; and the Sexual Revolution is the main cause of the corruption and decline of marriage and the family; and the family is the primary key to the health of any civilization; and our civilization is already half way to "Brave New World." At the Heart of the Gospel provides the alternative.

Peter Kreeft

Professor of Philosophy, Boston College


If complacency in the Church is a sleeping lion, then one can expect many swipes of the paw at the work of Christopher West. At the Heart of the Gospel compellingly demonstrates the truth of the matter: West is bringing fresh grace to both the Church and the wider culture. With the wisdom born of trial and the humble acceptance of his own poverty, West targets our aching need and directs us to healing with surgical precision. His proclamation of the Gospel is joyous, contemporary, and contagious! Onward Christopher, we are listening!

Anne, a lay apostle

Direction for Our Times; Author, Lessons in Love


At the Heart of the Gospel presents the wisdom and knowledge of an evangelist who's been on the front lines for nearly twenty years. With great humility, clarity and charity, Christopher West unpacks the life—giving teachings of the Catholic Church on what Blessed John Paul II considered the most pressing issue of our day — what it means to be a person made in God's image as male and female — and teaches us how to communicate this life—saving truth to a world starving for love.

2/1/2012 5:00:00 AM