Thursday, August 05, 2010

Teaching TOB with delicacy

People have left some great comments, and I'd like to highlight one left by Barbara, who can always be counted on to add some very insightful points to a conversation:

"Success has encouraged Chris to push more and more into developing an always more populist approach to the Theology of the Body. I find the results of the straining after populism in some TOB speakers to be lacking in reverence, and even crass. As St. Paul said, 'Some things should never be mentioned among you.' I also like Emily Dickinson here: 'They speak of hallowed things aloud, and embarrass my dog.'"

Sr Helena also said something about this too:

"Christopher used to be explicit/graphic when he spoke in the beginning, but he has since retired this style (as have other TOB speakers). I am adamant about that. That's the beauty of TOB, we talk about sex/the body in a theological context that respects modesty, a mixed group, various ages, etc. If a man is talking about TOB in a men's prison or something, it might be fitting to be more explicit/graphic. But TOB is not sex education, biology, anatomy, etc. It's theology. I also agree that we have to be careful about sexualizing everything."

I was speaking about this point to another person, who observed that it seems to be male TOB speakers who tend to push the envelope on this point. She said that this could relate to the TOB idea that the male "initiates the gift," but if it's a situation where it's not appropriate, it comes across almost as a violation.
Your thoughts on that?

1 comment:

Lauretta said...

My opinion is that speakers such as Mr. West and Fr. Loya speak provacatively to---provoke! I think they are trying to get people aroused in a sense to help them to really begin thinking critically about themselves concerning these issues. I know that is what the videos did for my husband and myself and it made us realize that we did have some negative perceptions of the human body and sexuality. That is difficult not to do in this country since our culture is predominantly Protestant and I believe they have a deep-rooted Manichaeistic thinking.

I have listened to other TOB speakers but they do not have the same ability to get right to the meat of the problem and force us to confront our distorted thinking. They also open up the door of redemption much further than most concerning this issue and for that I am forever grateful.