How Can Martial Artists Draw Upon Pope John Paul II’s Lectures on Theology of the Body to Inform Their Practice?
Author(s): Rod Eadie
Martial arts are usually relegated to the sphere of sport and often lost within the trappings of combat. In recent times, scholars have taken an interest in martial arts studies and explored how the psychosomatics of embodied practice reveals knowledge about culture and social phenomena. Commentators from within psychology, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy have spoken broadly about human connection through martial arts. However, little has been researched in theology that links spiritual teaching to the lived experience of martial arts practice. This article aims to illumine a theology that may inform the practice of martial arts. To that, I turn to Karol Wojtyla and his seminal work on Theology of the Body. I will present two key aspects; 1) that the Christian ethic may inspire fresh insights into an alternate practice of martial arts. 2) in the light of a body theology, martial arts may be viewed as a practice that supports human flourishing.