Thursday, September 02, 2010

Dawn Eden critiques Christopher West

I had the pleasure of meeting Dawn Eden in November 2008 on the feast of St. Albert the Great at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC and I check her blog from time to time to see what she is up to.

I am thrilled to see she had the courage to critique Christopher West's presentation of John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Not that I am anti-Christopher West, I have only skim read his work to be honest. As Dawn notes, he is a great public speaker, and effectively spreads enthusiasm for TOB. I was always disappointed though that many of my friends would read West's literature, rather than reading the original Wednesday audiences of JPII themselves. I know that John Paul's writing isn't for everyone, but most of my friends are college educated, and even have advanced degrees, and I did not understand why they needed someone else to interpret or simplify TOB. I greatly enjoy reading the original thoughts of John Paul II on this topic. He is so brilliant!

At any rate, whenever I shrugged my shoulder's at Christopher West I would get disapproving looks from friends who hold him on a pedestal as the thinker par excellence of all things TOB. So I am excited to see someone critique him, if only because it seems so taboo.

I love things TOB, but have stayed away from joining TOB study groups and the wider cult of TOB, because I fear that sometimes people run away with the teachings and add interpretations that are not entirely sound. For example, I knew someone who invented from the TOB philosophy the idea that are souls are intrinsically spousal in nature, and that we all have a soul mate, either in this life or the next. A romantic notion perhaps, but not theologically sound. That's TOB run a mock.

At any rate, I can't wait to sink my teeth into Dawn Eden's thesis, which is available for free from CNA. Simply scroll to the bottom of the interview to obtain a copy. Although with nearly 100 pages, and my impending move and new job starting next week, I'm not sure if I am up to the task. At least I will use some of my remaining vacation time to skim through this. I will let you know my thoughts after reading her work for myself.


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