Actual Issue 1/2019

In the new issue Verba Theologica (1/2019) can you find these studies:

The Enemy of the Soul, Brother Ass, The Temple of The Spirit On Some Aspects of the Perception of Body and Corporality in the History of the Western Church

Christian anthropology is based on the fact that human body as created by God is good, and thus human sexuality and the transmission of life can hardly be sinful in themselves. The body itself is intended for resurrection. Human person exists only as the unity of soul and body. Nevertheless, in the spirituality and preaching of the church, we often encounter distrust of and contempt for corporality, especially for human sexuality. The body is viewed as the prison of the soul. Disregard for sexuality and suppression of corporality will become a fundamental sign of a more sublime form of Christian life, and marriage is valued only as a cure for lust for those who are incapable of celibacy. In reality Christianity is primarily a religion of life, and both ancient and medieval Christianity show significant vitality. In modern history Catholicism is under the influence of pietism and puritanism. Sermons continue to express strong aversion to and distrust of human sexuality. At the turn of the 1950s, the complexity of human existence begins to reappear, and corporality starts to be regarded as something positive and valuable.

The Body of the Church
A contribution on the ecclesiological reflections of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas

Viliam Štefan DÓCI OP

Saint Albert the Great and Saint Thomas Aquinas, two excellent scholars of the Dominican Order in the 13th century, reflected on the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ using the analogy between human body and the body of the Church. They believed in the necessity of being a member of the body of the Church in order to achieve eternal salvation. Although they reaffirmed visible and institutional aspects, their idea of the Church extended beyond the limits of a visible body which could be precisely noted and defined within the timespace boundary. They emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit as the life source of the body of the Church, and communion with Christ in faith and charity as
the condition of being a member of the body in full sense. Both recognized the possibility of belonging to the visible Church and at the same time of being excluded from the Mystical Body of the Church. Using the categories of the actual and potential membership in the Summa Theologiae III, q. 8, Aquinas gave the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ an elasticity in a particular way.

Is celibacy to blame?

The problem of clergy abuse – especially as regards celibate clergy – presented in the media leads us to asking about the reasons for the actions of the abusers. This article considers the hypothesis of the disintegration of sexual drive interpreted in an erroneous way. Partial concepts leading to incorrect strategical sexual attitude arise from negativistic, psychoanalytic and autocentric perceptions of sexual drive. In contrast, we highlight positive, personalistic and altrocentric definition of sexual drive as the only possible strategy and the only possible concept – integration of sexual drive in celibate state as the absolute condition for a total self-donating love to Chris

The body within the economy of salvation

In this paper, we outline the basic characteristics of body and corporeality as presented in Claude Tresmontant‘s work. We logically organize and interpret his thought tendencies in mutual interrelation. We will point out the importance of body and corporeality in Christian theology, and emphasize the argumentative language of Tresmontant‘s philosophy and its contribution to modern theological anthropology.

Jesus‘ Corporality in the Gospel of John

This essay focuses on the theme of Jesus’ corporality in the Fourth Gospel. While Johannine studies rightly tend to underline the various ways in which John communicates Jesus’ divinity and union with the Father, this gospel is also filled with texts that stress Jesus’ humanity. From the prologue to the resurrection scenes Jesus periodically appears not only as fully human, but also as fully bodily. The introductory part of the article traces some of the occurrences of the motif of Jesus’ humanity/corporality. In the attempt to point up their significance and function, the two main parts then identify the texts which describe Jesus’ body parts and his physical postures. The essay notes John’s particular interest in drawing attention to Jesus’ body parts and postures, a feature that contributes to
John’s being „a maverick Gospel“ that continues to fascinate its readers. As the Son of God in constant communion with the Father, Jesus, as portrayed in John, emerges as a fully human and bodily person.

Ludwig Feuerbach and the Problem of Corporality in Western Thought

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the history of philosophy from Plato to Hegel is the history of a loss of human corporality, which has destructive consequences, because human body is the most universal symbol in every culture and society. Ludwig Feuerbach is trying to return the corporality back to human beings through the rehabilitation of emotions and of the intersubjectivity based on the love between the concrete, personal, physical Me and a concrete, personal, physical You. The Christian idea of God should not be based upon the picture of human being without body, but should closely match the entire and real essence of human being that is primarily rooted in nature.

Christianity as a rehabilitation of the body
Vladimír JUHÁS

This paper opens up the question of corporeality and materiality in Christian religion. In the introduction I present the basic relation of Christianity to the Hellenic culture, where the first concepts of theological thinking and spiritual dictionaries were born. Waves of dualistic spiritual tendencies have often been rising since the first centuries, always corrected by the searching for a balanced perception of the relationship between spiritual and corporal. The remaining sections of the article offer a rehabilitation of materiality and corporality, a striving that has been occurring permanently in the history of the entire theological tradition. Small subtemes are a reference to and support for the „body“, viewed not as a prison, but as a place where the spirit expresses itself.