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The Human Person According to John Paul II by J. Brian Bransfield


Product Description

What does it mean to be human?

In his theology of the body, John Paul II made an important contribution to answering this question. Here Brian Bransfield provides a systematic approach to his teaching, using it as a basis for an integrated moral theology/Christian anthropology that gives practical support in living the Christian life.

"Because readers who seek out the teaching of John Paul have varying backgrounds, this book explains even basic concepts in his teaching to allow the central teaching to be more easily understood. This book will clarify important concepts and terms, presenting them in slow motion. It will also relate these concepts to the wider teaching of John Paul and the teaching of the Church. John Paul's teaching is not a random topic that he simply chose to speak about when he became pope. His work is a strategic development that responds immediately to humanity in crisis. "Pain fills the cry of the third millennium. The pain reverberates from a deeper place: the very identity of the human person. Every day, thousands of people in the United States have their personal information stolen and become victims of identity theft. The thieves steal identity for financial gain, and it can take years to repair the damage. Yet, a far more horrific identity theft has been under way for decades. The theft is not economic but cultural. Human nature is robbed of its dignity and reduced to a mere expression of instinct or business acumen. The anguish of people today flows from several factors. No simple diagnosis has sufficed from a sociological perspective to explain the predicament of humanity in the postmodern age. The prescription of a quick fix brings only further injury.

"In remedy, Church teaching and theology seek to reassert true human dignity."
-From the Introduction

Features & Benefits:

  • Ideal for readers interested in Theology of the Body
  • Accessible and readable exploration of John Paul II's writings
  • Points out how an understanding of the theology of the body leads to life in the Spirit
  • Reflections on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the virtues and the beatitudes

About the author:

Reverend J. Brian Bransfield is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He currently serves at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as Assistant General Secretary and Executive Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis. Fr. Bransfield received his doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Prior to his current appointment, he served as professor of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He is a noted national speaker and retreat director.

What Are People Saying about this Title?

"What life-opening pages! Bransfield illuminates John Paul II's vision of the human person brilliantly, fleshing out spiritual insights with an eye to the practical-a combination which opens for us the vocation to love, from the inside out."
-Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus

"Bransfield's book is 'required reading' for those interested in the writings of Pope John Paul II on the theology of the body. The author gives valuable insights which will help the reader grow in a personal relationship with God and come to a deeper understanding of self. It is solid theology rooted in spirituality."
-Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans

"This book is approachable. The most compelling reason I have for wanting to stand from my rooftop and trumpet to everyone I know that they should read this book is that it's approachable AND that it makes the whole idea behind Theology of the Body (republished in an expanded form recently as Man and Woman He Created Them), John Paul II's great masterpiece, approachable.

"TOB is a HUGE undertaking to read and an even bigger undertaking to understand and unpack. I've read a host of other authors who have tried it, and who have done well. But this is the first book that I felt like I could hand to my friends, my husband, and my pastor with absolutely no compunction. It's one of the only books I have purchased after receiving a review copy, and one of an even smaller number that I know I'll be buying again.

"There's heavy, deep stuff in this book, because that's the topic, but it's written in a way that makes you comfortable. My husband thought, for the first two-thirds of the book, that I was reading a novel, and his eyebrows were lost in his hairline for a day or two when he found out it was nonfiction.

"The Human Person presents a difficult topic in a very tangible way. There's a reason Jesus spoke in parables, and this book demonstrates that wisdom in its explanation and demonstration of difficult concepts. Bransfield also has a way of linking things together that seem unexpected at first, but that work out to be brilliant together.

"I love how different parts of the Catholic faith are tied into each other, but to think of the Beatitudes and the virtues you're living when you fulfill a beatitude...well, that was a new one for me. And the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Where'd those come from? And what do they mean? I found out in a way that seared it into my mind and made me want to keep going, keep exploring, keep learning.

"What's wonderful about how John Paul II taught about the human person and the body is that he maintained that it's a beautiful thing. Bransfield teased this underlying theme out and explored it using experiences from our common human experience -- at one point, he was talking about young children, at another point, about driving. It read like an ongoing conversation, in some ways, and that made it all the more real to me.

"Bransfield motivates me as a reader. Bransfield's obviously a natural teacher, because he taps into so many different stories and experiences throughout this book, and he also uses other people's wisdom. He references the entire body of John Paul II's work as well as many of the others who have written about it. This book becomes, then, a sort of "best of," written by someone who has a gift for sharing it and making you want to hunt down the source material for more.

"I found myself wanting to ditch my reading pile and just pick up Theology of the Body (both the shiny new one and the old, dog-eared copy) for myself. He made me want to revisit Love and Responsibility and a couple of the encyclicals I've been meaning to reread.

"He made me want to keep learning, keep digging, keep immersing myself.

"He made me want to WAKE UP, and maybe that's the biggest nod I can give any author, especially one writing about such an important and life-changing topic.
-S. Reinhard (, customer review

Product Details:


6" x 9 1/4"
288 pages


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