What is the Theology of the Body?

The “Theology of the Body” is St. John Paul II's integrated vision of the human person. The human body has a specific meaning, making visible an invisible reality, and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives:

  1. Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it?
  2. What does it mean that we were created in the image of God?
  3. Why were we created male and female? Does it really matter if we are one sex or another?
  4. What does the marital union of a man and woman say to us about God and his plan for our lives?
  5. What is the purpose of the married and celibate vocations?
  6. What exactly is "Love"?
  7. Is it truly possible to be pure of heart?

All of these questions, and many more, are answered in the 129 Wednesday audiences popularly known as the “Theology of the Body,” delivered by St. John Paul II between 1979 and 1984. His reflections are based on Scripture and contain a vision of the human person truly worthy of man. Emphasizing the theme of love as self-gift, they counteract societal trends which view the body as an object of pleasure or as a machine for manipulation. Instead, the body shows us the call and gives us the means to love in the image of God. His earlier book Love and Responsibility, and other papal documents, such as Familiaris Consortio and Mulieris Dignitatem also touch on these and related themes. John Paul II encourages a true reverence for the gift of our sexuality and challenges us to live it in a way worthy of our great dignity as human persons. His theology is not only for young adults or married couples, but for all ages and vocations, since it sums up the true meaning of being a person.

This website is dedicated to the promotion of the Pope's revolutionary and life-transforming message of hope. It is currently undergoing renovation, so check back here soon for a totally new, complete with articles, events, links, resources and more! In the meantime, many resources can be found here.

TOBIA - Theology of the Body International Alliance

We are a support network providing resources for those striving to evangelize the world by means of Pope John Paul II's understanding of the human person, explained in his works Love and Responsibility and Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body. Our aim is to lead every person to an encounter with Jesus Christ.

We have members in 40 states and 25 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malta, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Trinidad, and the United States). Members are involved in both studying the works of John Paul II and implementing his thought and theology into various areas of life, such as ministry with engaged couples, young adults, teens, families, singles, pro-life work, and more. If you are interested in being involved with a study and/or evangelization group, please send an e-mail to:

“The Theology of the Body is a theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences...” - George Weigel, papal biographer and author of Witness to Hope