David Bentley Hart explains why the “irrelevance” of John Paul’s theology of the body is truly relevant (in another sense) to contemporary bioethics:
No serious consideration of the life and work of John Paul II can ignore his Theology of the Body, or avoid asking what relevance his teachings on the body might have for current debates in bioethics.
And this creates something of a problem, because there is a real sense in which it has none at all - at least, if by “relevance” one means discrete logical propositions or policy recommendations that might be extracted from the larger context of John Paul’s teachings so as to “advance the conversation” or “suggest a middle course” or “clarify ethical ambiguities.”
Simply said, the book does not offer arguments, or propositions, or (thank God) “suggestions.” Rather, it enunciates with extraordinary fullness a complete vision of the spiritual and corporeal life of the human being; that vision is a self-sufficient totality, which one is free to embrace or reject as a whole.
To one who holds to John Paul’s Christian understanding of the body, and so believes that each human being, from the very first moment of existence, emerges from and is called towards eternity, there are no negotiable or even very perplexing issues regarding our moral obligations before the mystery of life.
(Via: TitusOneNine )