Theology of the body

Catechesis on the book of Genesis Robert Colquhoun

Essential Points of Genesis
We are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-7) God created male and female First commandment of God to man, “Be fruitful and multiply” God gives man dominion over the earth God created out of nothing.

On Imaging God in the communion of Persons
“Formed in the image of God, aslo inasmuch as they form a true communion of persons, the first man and the first woman must constitute the beginning and the model of that communion for all men and women, who, in any period, are united so intimately to be one flesh.” (Nov 21, 1979)

On Imaging God in the communion of persons
“Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. Right ‘from the beginning,’ He is not only an image in which the solitude of a person who rules the world is reflected, but also , and essentially, an image of an inscrutable divine communion of persons.” (Nov 14, 1979).

Essential Points of Genesis
“God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Gn 1:31) They were “Naked without shame” (Gn 2) Original Innocence – outside the sphere of knowledge between good and evil.

Naked without shame
“According to this passage, the man and woman saw themselves, as it were, through the mystery of creation. They saw themselves in this way, before knowing that they were naked… They see and know each other with all the peace of the interior gaze, which creates precisely the fullness of the intimacy of persons.” (Nov 14, 1979)

Further Points of Genesis
Gaudium et Spes n. 24: Man “The only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake.” Man, with intellect and will, can form relationship of communion, solidarity and self giving. Man can enter relationship of knowledge and love of God. God created the human soul. Catholics can believe in evolution.

Essential Points of Genesis
Two accounts of creation: Elohist – Genesis 1 Yahwist – Genesis 2 Genesis 2:18 – “It is not good that man should be alone- I will make him a helper fit for him.” Self consciousness of man. Creation is a gift to man.

The Mystery of the tree of knowledge
“You may freely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Gn 2:16-7).

Genesis 2
“Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” Gn 2:23. Adam rejoices in the discovery of woman. “Two become one flesh” Gn 2:24 Conjugal act –a ‘powerful bond established by the creator.’

Nuptial meaning of the body
“Man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself.” GS 24 Disinterested love

Personalistic Norm
The principle that recognizes that the only proper and adequate attitude toward human persons is love. The opposite of love is to use someone as a means to an end.

The Fall
Eve was tricked into questioning the generosity and motives of God. She thought she was missing out on something. Adam did nothing to defend or protect her. Satan convinced them that if God had his way, they would live miserable lives. Adam and Eve lacked trust in God. To what extent do we live out this original lie today?

On Shame
“Man is ashamed of his body because of lust. In fact, he is ashamed not so much of his body as precisely of lust. He is ashamed of his body owing to lust. He is ashamed of his body owing to that state of his spirit to which theology and psychology give the same name: desire or lust, although with a meaning that is not quite the same.” (May 28, 1980). Shame is absorbed by Love.

Do we have to believe everything in Genesis as literally true?
“Following the contemporary philosophy of religion and that of language, it can be said that the language in question is a mythical one. In this case the term ‘myth’ does not designate a fabulous content, but merely an archaic way of expressing a deeper content.” (Nov 7, 1979). Therefore, the answer is negative.

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