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130—John Paul II’s Retreat for Artists—Christopher West

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 04, 2022 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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In Holy Week of 1962, Bishop Karol Wojtyla gave a retreat to a group of Polish artists. The text of that retreat has now been published in English, along with commentary, by the Theology of the Body Institute, in a book titled God Is Beauty: A Retreat on the Gospel and Art.

Christopher West, president of the TOB Institute, joins Thomas Mirus to discuss the retreat and how it fits together with St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Themes include:

  • God is Beauty
  • The Incarnation is perfect Beauty manifested in the human body
  • The artist is a conduit of beauty coming from God
  • Artists’ responsibility for their talent
  • The sexed body as a sign of the relationality and fruitfulness of the Trinity
  • The dangers of “moral minimalism”
  • The Crucifixion, where moral conscience and beauty meet
  • How Wojtyla’s work builds on, rather than replaces, traditional theological symbolism

Thomas also discusses his experience of attending the ballet and how it is challenging him to see the body in a new way.


Listeners can purchase God Is Beauty paperback at the TOB Institute store for 20% off the cover price (no limit). Use code: CULTURE

Upcoming retreat weekend, May 13-15

Episode with ballet dancer Claire Kretzschmar

Dony MacManus

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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