Karol Wojtyla's LOVE AND RESPONSIBILITY: A Summary

by William E. May
     Theological Advisor to
     Catholics for the Common Good Institue 

 CHAPTER ONE: THE PERSON AND THE SEXUAL URGE
  1. Analysis of the Verb "to Use"
  2. Interpretation of the Sexual Urge

CHAPTER TWO: THE PERSON AND LOVE

  1. Metaphysical Analysis of Love
  2. The word "love"
  3. Love as attraction
  4. Love as desire
  5. Love as Goodwill
  6. The problem of reciprocity
  7. From sympathy to friendship
  8. Betrothed love
  9. Psychological Analysis of Love
  10. Sensuality
  11. Sentiment and love
  12. The problem of integrating love
  13. The Ethical Analysis of Love

CHAPTER THREE: THE PERSON AND CHASTITY

  1. The Rehabilitation of Chastity
  2. The Metaphysics of Shame
  3. The Problems of Continence

CHAPTER FOUR: JUSTICE TOWARD THE CREATOR

  1. Marriage

    1. Monogamy and the indissolubility of marriage
    2. The value of the institution [of marriage]
    3. Procreation and parenthood
    4. Periodic Continence: Method and Interpretation
  2. Vocation

    1. The Concept of "Justice toward the Creator"
    2. Mystical and Physical Virginity
    3. The Problem of Vocation
    4. Paternity and Maternity

Chapter  Five: Sexology and Ethics

  1. Marriage and Marital Intercourse (pp. 270-278)
  2. The Problem of Birth Control (pp. 278-285)

This book, published in Polish in 1960 and in English in 1981, is a magnificent work, philosophical in nature, on the human person, human sexuality, love, and marriage. It is, however, a somewhat difficult book to read, posing many challenges to the reader. I believe that I have now read it at least 30 times and each time I learn something new.

           It is such a great work that the thought set forth in it needs to be known by as many people as possible. Here I attempt to summarize as clearly as possible its major ideas in the hope that this will be helpful to many.

           The book has five chapters: One: The Person and the Sexual Urge; Two: The Person and Love; Three: The Person and Chastity; Four: Justice to the Creator; and Five: Sexology and Ethics. I will now attempt to summarize them.

Next  CHAPTER ONE: THE PERSON AND THE SEXUAL URGE

William E. May was a Theological Advisor to Catholics for the Common Good Institute, emeritus Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C., and Senior Research Fellow of the Culture of Life Foundation.

 Copyright ©; William E. May 2007. Posted with permission of the author.

Version: 21st September 2007



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