Dynamic speaker discusses sex, gender & Jesus

Christopher West talks to students about John Paul II's Theology of the Body.  Photo by Cor Media, Courtesy of Bill Howard.

By Ivy Mackey, The Circuit.

On March 2, Christopher West, author and speaker on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, came to deliver a talk titled “Sex, Gender & Jesus.”

Speaking to the local Benedictine College community, whose One Love Team has formed discussion groups centered around Theology of the Body, West spoke of how the human heart has a deep need for fulfillment.

“We live in a world that tells us our body is meaningless,” said West. West used the analogy of looking at the stars to symbolize God and the good in sexuality. When we lose sight of the stars, we lose sight of the meaning and beauty in life.

West spoke on how gender today has become another customizable feature, mentioning how Facebook now has hundreds of “gender options” to choose from. According to West, gender originally meant to “produce” or “generate,” confirming that the word only makes sense in conjunction with a man and woman creating new life.

Along with stories, a slideshow and a video, West accompanied his talk with Mike Mangione, a musician and personal friend of West, whose talks ended up inspiring Mangione’s music.

“Everything I knew was put through the fire,” said Mangione, speaking about his first encounter with West’s talks.

During the night, West explained how most Christians have a rather puritanical viewpoint that sees sex as negative. West, however, has a different explanation.

“It is not the repression of sexuality, but the redemption of our sexuality,” West said, speaking of the Church’s viewpoint.

Overall, West’s talk was met with laughter and positive responses. He even took time to engage with attendees both before and afterwards. An information table filled with Mangione CD’s artwork, books, and posters about a summer trip to Ireland was available at the end.

For more information, contact Katherine Dea at dea1792@ravens.benedictine.edu