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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Christopher West, author of "At the Heart of the Gospel", has done in-depth research into Catholic Church theology and writes well of the writings of many noted church theologians, most especially the late Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body". Author West does not shy away from issues such as the state of the world in which we live and prevailing attitudes towards sexuality and the human body. He states clearly on page 16 that we "must reclaim the essential link between eros and agape, between sexuality and spirituality, between body and soul". West explains that the sexual realm is a profoundly sacred one for, as he explains, "the marriage of flesh and spirit lies at the heart of the Gospel and at the heart of our humanity (page 59)."
"At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the Evangelization" is a complex and challenging text. Although it is well-written, well-edited and well-formatted and documented, the casual reader will put this book aside after reading the first few pages. Clergy, however, should study every word and preach a simplified version so that all congregants can appreciate its message about the male and female bodies and the spirituality of the call of man and woman to become "one flesh". Author West discusses difficult issues such as idolatry and iconoclasm and advocates that the truly religious person must be willing to reach out to others who have no beliefs, to sit with them and talk with them as Jesus Christ did. "At the Heart of the Gospel" offers strong words and advice for our troubled world.