For the past eight years or so, the popular theological buzz has been around Bl. John Paul II Wednesday audiences collected as his pinnacle work, the Theology of the Body. Everyone seems to talk about how revolutionary his insights into the human person are in this tome. However, for the brave soul who picks it up to read, realizes how possibly foolhardy an undertaking can be because John Paul’s style and depth makes it seem like swimming through seaweed. For the armchair theologian it can find itself collecting dust on the shelf.
Christopher West has been able to communicate its basic ideas in common language, but for all the good he has done as a TOB apologist, there are presuppositions in John Paul’s writings that help form his thought which West doesn’t (in my reading of him at least) communicate.
Enter Dr. Edward Sri. He is primarily a Scripture scholar, but because of the nature of Catholic intellectual life in the US, scholars branch out due to small, solid faculties at good universities. Curriculums call them to broaden themselves. Sir takes Karol Wojtyla’s presuppositions in Love and Responsibility and communicates them to someone without philosophical and/or theological training, in his book Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love. He writes clearly and directly. He gives life examples but doesn’t water down Wojtyla’s depth. It is a great book and I would suggest it as the introduction to TOB before West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners.
I found the book also good for marriage preparation.