The Catholic Culture Podcast: 130 – John Paul II’s Retreat for Artists

Apr 4, 2022

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
  • 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:

Upcoming retreat weekend, May 13-15

Episode with ballet dancer Claire Kretzschmar

Dony MacManus

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