Monday, October 18, 2010

Body Language in Hollywood

Joshua Kingdon is a Hollywood actor/director who leads a Theology of the Body study group in Hollywood. The Theology of the Body is a manual on human sexuality and relationships, rooted in Personalism and the writings of Pope John Paul 2. Theologian George Weigel, calls the Theology of the Body a “theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences ...perhaps in the twenty-first century.” True Feminism talks to Joshua about his role in this movement.

SD: How did you get involved with the Theology of the Body study group?

JK: I had never heard of the Theology of the Body, until I came to Los Angeles. A couple of friend’s of mine had decided to do start a study group. They would meet up and read a couple of chapters of the actual text of the Theology of the Body and would discuss it. I went for a few of those meetings and started to get familiar with it and then we were going to have a more formal study group at Family Theatre Productions and I brought up the idea that since we are in Hollywood, it might be a good idea to illustrate some of the points, made within Theology of the Body with movie clips. Last year we did 16 sessions. Another girl and me sort of put it together. We would introduce everything verbally, watch the video by Christopher West and try to line up two to four clips to illustrate certain points. We took a lot of time, trying to narrow down the major points, and created a short summary of a screenplay called a log line.

SD: The Theology of the body seems so body focused. How can this be reconciled with one’s spiritual self or how one thinks?

JK: God made us body and soul. This is the idea of sacrament, looking at our physical bodies, as tangible bodies that reveal this invisible truth. We connect the physical realities, the differences between male and female, in some way to reveal spiritual realities, invisible realities of how much God loves us and the relationship that he calls for us.

SD: This teaching is good for Heterosexuals, but where does it leave people with a Homosexual orientation? How can they live out the Theology of the body?

JK: Christopher West in his interpretation of the Theology of the Body says, “We as human beings are meant to be a gift, to another, specifically in the realm of marriage, that gift of sex is meant to reflect the relationship that Christ has with the church.” If you look at the crucifixion Christ gave of himself, of his body completely in a way that we would have life. The analogy with humans, is why the church preaches that there should only be conjugal relations between a husband and a wife, because the action says I will be with you forever, and am open to life, the giving of oneself. Being attracted to the same sex is not bad or sinful, but homosexual sexual activity, says something with your body that you’re not actually saying.

SD: What impact has the Theology had on your personal life?

JK: When I see a beautiful woman, instead of using terminology like she’s hot or she’s a babe. I have got into habit of using the term, that’s she eschatological, referring to the time, when our bodies, are re-united with our souls, after death and are restored to their amazing beauty, like Adam and Eve before the fall.

On a larger level, it’s given me greater confidence, in terms of apologetics, in terms of understanding the importance of marriage. You know that when you indulge in a lustful act that something isn’t quite right and for certain people, their consciences will speak to louder than others. The Theology of the Body, gives us a fuller understanding of why those activities are wrong, with respect to our relationship with God.

SD: What results has this study produced in Hollywood among those who attend it?

JK: People that attended were better able to articulate catholic teachings, on human sexuality. People that came go into and look at relationships, as more directed to the giving of oneself, and in finding ourselves in that way. A married couple enriches their relationship, to be more selfless . Someone who is dating, is given more confidence in their decision to not to sleep with someone before marriage. Some of us can understand this to a certain level, but when we take the time to study it, the better off we are as humans in our relationships with each other.


Alice C. Linsley said...

I like your blog! You would enjoy the blog of Kamillia Ludwig which runs along the lines of your's. The Brave Lass

Alice C. Linsley said...

This project in Hollywood sounds promising.

For some reason as I read this, I was reminded of these lines from a Maeve Binchy novel (The Glass Lake). A Catholic brother and a nun are meeting to discuss the new school year. "There was the school curriculum for the year, the difficulty of getting lay teachers who would have the same sense of dedication, the terrible problem they shared about children being wild and undisciplined, preferring the goings-on on the cinema screen to real life as it should be lived in Irelan."

Bee's Blog said...

Christopher West's Theology of the Body is a mind blowing programme which is used in this Archdiocese.

There is also Theology of the Body for Teens which has proved to be an equal success.

Savia said...


Have you seen The Trouble with Angels. It's a cute movie along the lines of The Glass Lake.

Savia said...


Yes, my church currently has a TOB program.

Christine Falk Dalessio said...

...and what movie clips did you use that were relevant to the teachings of TOB? As a youth & ya minister, I am always looking for more...

Savia said...

Hi Christine,

I could sent you the TOB Hollywood study guide, if you want.