I had heard this book described as one that would go down in history as one of the best books of the century. Even though it may not be widely know, after reading it, I have to agree. This book is life-changing. Karol Wojtyla addresses the topic of love (a topic which people assume they automatically know) with amazing precision, clarity and beauty. It was personally convicting and challenging at times in suprising ways. He paints a picture of love that all should seek. It isn't easy reading. But, it isn't easy reading because it is so packed. So, sometimes even in a paragraph or a page, the content was so remarkable as to require stopping and digesting only that portion. This book is a treasure.
Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) gives us a wonderful blessing with "Love and Responsibility." His in depth philospohical analysis of human love and sexuality stems from his philosophy of "personalism". Persons are self-determining creatures and should never be treated as mere objects. This is a fantastic book that beautifully displays Wojtyla's view of the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of the sexual act. Worthy of special mention is Wotyla's metaphysical analysis of "love". This is a deep look into the nature of true love, how the sexual urge is the starting point, a good thing that encourages us to look deeper and to love the person as a whole. When this urge is abused by treating the person as a mere sex object, the fruits of the sexual urge are squandered. When used properly, the sexual urge is fuel to deepen our interests in another, to develop a friendship, goodwill, and if there is reciprocity from the other person, the highest stage is attained - betrothed love - the lifelong comittment of marriage. This is a book that is sorely needed by our society today. There is much here - Wojtyla's thought is rich and deep. You will not get the grasp of his point with one reading, rather it will take multiple readings of this book for its flavor to sink in. Personally I have read this book three times and can testify how it has enriched my life. I think it will do the same for you.
I would recommend this book for someone who desires to know more about the depth of Christian love and sexuality. It is not a light book, though when you're finished I would say you have a pretty good grasp of the subject and will attain a new understanding of the beauty, dignity, and profound responsibility that goes along with Christian marriage. Though written 40 years ago, it is still as relevant as ever. Strongly recommended for the serious theology student, priest, pastor, religious educator, or anyone else devoted to the study of marriage.
This has to be one of the most amazing and insightful books ever written on love. After reading LOVE AND RESPONSIBILITY, I felt as if the Pope knew me better than I knew myself; he read me like a book. This book is very helpful for the understanding of the complexities of human love.Anyone who wants guidance in choosing a mate, wants to better understand what happens when a person falls in love, wants to be able to distinguish love from infatuation or lust, or suffers from the disillusionment of past relationships should read this book. The reader will learn about all the different elements of love and how they are woven together. As much as I admire the Pope, his writing style has not always appealed to me but this work is like no other.
Karol Wojtyla's insight into human love is simply amazing. The book is VERY in-depth, so it may not be appropriate for readers who are looking for light reading material. If you do take the time to read the book, you will simply be amazed. As you read each paragraph, you can't help but think, "That is so true!" The book really makes you want to be better person by embracing LOVE as the purpose for our existence!
The one major criticism I have of this book is the Pope's picture on the cover. I'm not ashamed of the Holy Father--I think he's great--, but if it weren't for that identification, a much wider audience would be open to the book. The sad reality of our crazy world is that many have a great bias against Catholicism--the Church being the great boogie-man of post-Enlightenment culture. This is really tragic because the book's arguments (as the back cover points out so well) are not dependent on religious beliefs, but on common philosophical observations, e.g., Kant's Categorical Imperative that it is wrong to treat a person as a thing. Wojtyla lays out an incredibly compelling argument for what I think is the Church's most beautiful teaching, an understanding that the rest of the world seems to have forgotten. It is a real shame that more people don't know about this book, as it would save so many of our generation from the despair of longing for true, meaningful, lasting love, but being frustrated by the selfish, near-sighted misconceptions disseminated by the mass media. As others have pointed out, this book is not a light read. Aside from the topic being involved at times, the translation is a bit awkward in places. Happily, there are study groups that meet in cities around the U.S. and the world to discuss the book; many of these groups have web pages with helpful study materials (yes, it's a whole social phenomenon). If it weren't for the prohibition on posting URLs, I would include that for the Love and Responsibility Foundation in New York. There are also groups that meet in Boston and Washington, D.C. (And yet other groups that meet to discuss the Pope's _Theology of the Body_--see Our Father's Will Communications.) Not only is this a great way to come to an understanding of this indispensible volume, but it is also a great way to meet people with a common interest in the truth about human love and sexuality. I highly recommend not only buying and studying it, but also finding (or founding) a study group with whom to read it.
you don't have to be a catholic to read this. This was written for anyone. It will give you philosophical answers to questions on us(persons) and our sexual role(its meaning and purpose. highly recommended for any human being.
Love and Responsibility explains the real meaning of a human person in a systematic style. However, unless you have a strong understanding of philosophical language, you might find this book to be tough to comprehend. If your Catholic and have a hard time understanding the Church's teaching on moral issues this book may be helpful. By the time I finished the book I understood why a person's choice of actions is so vital to a person's relationship with God.