Workshop (2) – On Logos and Glory

Waldstein explained his method and purpose in the second session of the workshop.  The purpose of his work on theology of the body brought to the workshop (and his book) is to help readers enter through the guiding themes of logos and glory more deeply into the marvel of Theology of the Body. He appeals to the light of reason (logos) and the splendor of love (glory). The word became flesh.

“The Logos became body/flesh and dwells among us and we have seen his glory, a glory as of the Only-Begotten from the Father, full of gift and truth (John 1:14).” Waldstein explained how Pope John Paul II uses this passage:

The Polish word for “body” (ciało) also means “flesh.” When the Logos became “flesh,” he also became “body.” Theology of the Body (teologia ciała) is also Theology of the Flesh. Logos became body/flesh and dwells among us and we have seen his glory, a glory as of the Only-Begotten from the Father, full of gift and truth (John 1:14). Accordingly, John Paul II comments, “Through the fact that God (Word) became body/flesh, the body/flesh entered theology—that is, the science about God—through the main door, I would say” (TOB 23:4). The celebration of the Great Jubilee of the Incarnation of the Logos in the year 2000 was “both the focal point and the center of [John Paul II’s] pontificate. Everything aimed at this and everything in a sense revolved around it,” including the Theology of the Body. Logos and glory: these two key terms in John 1:14, will serve as the two guiding concepts of this book. They are the two principal dimensions of John Paul II’s theological method, which is a “hermeneutics of the gift” (TOB 13:2), or a systematic interpretation of the logic of gift that runs from the Trinity through creation and redemption. They also correspond to the two main dimensions of the life of persons, truth and love, as resumed in Gaudium et Spes 24:3, which speaks of a “likeness between the union of divine persons and the union of God’s sons in Truth and Love.”

Dr Waldstein laid out seven reasons why the theme of logos and glory provides a way into the Theology of the Body; it provides

  1. a deeper perception of Theology of the Body’s portrayal of the glory of Trinitarian love in the beauty of God’s plan for the human body: “a glory…full of gift and truth” (John 1:14)
  2. a greater appreciation of the strength of Theology of the Body’s appeal to Greek philosophical logos (reason) as developed by Plato and Aristotle and furtherunfolded by the Greek and Latin Fathers as well as St. Thomas Aquinas;
  3. a fuller realization of Theology of the Body’s ecumenical potential, especially in dialogue with Luther’s Scriptural spousal theology;
  4. a firmer grasp of Theology of the Body’s depth in unfolding the teaching of Scripture about the male and female body in the divine plan, a plan in which the light of reason (logos) and the splendor of love (glory) are harmoniously united;
  5. a clearer understanding of the rigorous and luminous structure of Theology of the Body’s argument;
  6. a stronger conviction of Theology of the Body’s effectiveness in responding to contemporary questions about science, power, progress, the environment, and justice between men and women;
  7. a more courageous strength in resisting the Baconian-Cartesian view of the body and of rationality (logos) in the dominant current of contemporary culture, shaped by mechanist natural science.

See the text here.

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