What would you compare your body to?
A temple? People would chuckle at that.
What about a roller coaster? Enjoy the ride. After all, we might all be conditioned. Maybe we have certain impulses that make us more inclined towards one gender, whoever and whatever we are, but we’re pretty flexible. The body becomes an instrument for pleasure alone, and the body is a body. We’re animals.
A society inured to a reality-TV culture that is keen on exposing any private moment and any intimate body part for public consumption would think so. One should flaunt one’s body before it is marked by the supposed scourges of childbearing and menopause, and old age for both women and men. This is what animals are.
Does this add anything to our experience of sexuality? Speaking of theology of the body would lead to restraint or freedom?
We are human beings. Our sexuality is not the occasion and instrument for self-assertion and selfish satisfaction of personal desires and instincts. Rather, our sexuality is the sign, place and language of love, the gift of self and acceptance of another, in all the other’s richness as a person. The criterion for dealing with others is “personal dignity” not “efficiency, functionality, and usefulness.”
When sexuality is depersonalised and exploited, interpersonal relations are seriously impoverished. Perhaps this is an implication of practical materialism and its concomitant instrumentalism.
That is why Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija is organising a seven-session course on the Theology of the Body. We need to be reminded, now more than ever, that God became man, that God took on a body with its own oozes and itches and became our friend, our brother and our saviour. This course reminds Christians and non-Christians alike of our dignity, of our strivings towards all that is True, Good and Beautiful.
Theology of the Body: A Thematic Approach is organised by Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija, starting from February 16. For more information please visit https://ghstmalta.org/project/theology-of-the-body/.