Taylor Swift’s Guide to Theology of the Body – The Culture Project

Although his texts are not to be considered a doctrine, most of the Culture Project missionaries think that Taylor Swift has a lot of good things to share with us. My friend Alex recently shared Taylor Swift’s Guide to Confession and I want to go a step further with Taylor Swift’s Guide to Theology of the Body. After the reissue of Taylor Swift’s “Red” album, there was one song in particular that stayed in my mind constantly, and not just because it’s catchy. I think Taylor is involved in something with it, unlocking an important piece of Pope St. John Paul II’s TOB through human experience. While not, it’s not 10 minutes of “All Too Well”, we have about 3 minutes and 22 seconds of something sacred here … so, let’s dive into “Holy Ground (Taylor’s Version)”.


Here is a brief description of Pope St. John Paul II Man and woman created them: a theology of the body in case this is the first you learn about it!

  1. Part I: The words of Christ
    1. Christ appeals to the “beginning”
    2. Christ appeals to the human heart
    3. Christ appeals to the resurrection
  2. Part II: The Sacrament
    1. The dimension of the covenant and of grace
    2. The size of the sign
    3. He gave them the law of life as their inheritance

Today I want to focus on some highlights from Part I that I believe our girlfriend Taylor has a way to unpack in a few lines. At the beginning of Scripture, at the beginning of JPII, I would also like to start with the beginning of our human history: Genesis.

A quick note: we are starting by studying the second account of the creation of man: the story of Adam and Eve, their life in the Garden of Eden and their fall into sin. This part of our history is not presented as an exact historical account, but is intended to speak to the original human experiences through “the symbolism of biblical language” (CCC 375). As JPII better explains in TOB 11: 1, “When we speak of original human experiences, we have in mind not so much their distance in time, but rather their fundamental significance. The important thing, therefore, is not that these experiences belong to the prehistory of man … but that they are always at the root of all human experience.

Christ appeals to “the beginning,” and so does Taylor Swift

And darling it was beautiful / Never look down / And right where we were / It was holy land

At first, Adam sought an answer in his solitude to the question: who am I? Even today, we often ask ourselves this question in the search for our identity. It was when Eve entered the scene, however, that we heard the astonishing tale of Adam’s gasp, his relief and his joy at finding another like him, made for him not to be alone: ​​”This, in the end, he is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh… ”(Genesis 2:23). “In seeing the woman created by God, the first words of the man express wonder and admiration, or rather, the sense of charm”. (TOB 108: 5). That moment of original unity, in which “the two became one flesh” and “his man and wife were both naked, but they felt no shame” (Genesis 2: 24-25), was certainly holy ground, right there. where they were. Adam realized in an instant that he himself, body and soul, made no sense without Eve. Suddenly, with Eve, he made sense and he had a purpose. Male and female were literally organized for each other, having the physical organs working together to become one together and create a new organism from their life-giving love. We are made for communion with one another, communion with God, and it is written in our hearts by this original experience. And God Himself said it: “it was Very well “(Genesis 1:31).

Christ and Taylor, Appeal to the human heart

I was just remembering the other day / While I was having coffee all alone / And the Lord took me away / … And that was the first day

It is easy to look back on the early moments of our forefathers, longing for and appreciating those four original units: man and woman, body and soul, humanity and creation, and humanity and God. However, we know that there is more to history and that Adam and Eve have fallen. With their original sin, those units have been broken and twisted.

And I guess we fell apart in the usual way / And the story gets dust on every page / But sometimes I wonder how you think about it now / And I see your face in every crowd

In the painful reality of our humanity today, we see the disunity between men and women, which leads to use and lust instead of authentic love; we see that our differences are not used to unite us in complementarity, but to divide the sexes. We see the disunity between body and soul, often feeling at odds with our bodies, as if we were not body-soul people but rather souls “trapped” in our bodies. We see the disunity between humanity and creation, no longer knowing how to manage our land well. And in the end we see so many examples of disunity between ourselves and God: idolizing other people or things, seeing God as a punisher rather than a merciful and good Father, or not even trusting in the existence of him … These are just a few examples. And them bad. Deep down, written in our hearts, we know we are not made for any of these things. We cannot help but read Genesis in the light of the painful reality in which we live.

Christ appeals to the Resurrection and Taylor Swift wants it too

I’ll dance tonight / For everything we’ve been through / But I don’t want to dance / If I don’t dance with you

Praise God that our history does not end with the fall or with our broken humanity! there’s a redemption of the possible body, starting with humanity here and now, and there a resurrection of the body that comes with eternal life (Apostolic Creed). The sacrament of matrimony exists from the beginning to indicate the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19: 7). We have hope in the communion of saints in heaven, and in communion with God, in the beatific vision, in the fulfillment of finally seeing God “face to face”. I think of Taylor Swift’s lyrics take this. In heaven, we will dance with our God! We want dance with the communion of saints! We are not made for dancing unless we dance with those we are made for fellowship with.

“In the joys of their love and family life He gives them here on earth a foretaste of the marriage of the Lamb“(CCC 1642)

“In all circumstances, each of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere” to the end “and to obtain the joy of heaven … [The Church] she longs to be united with Christ, her Spouse, in the glory of heaven ». (CCC 1821)


So what should we do now? We are stuck in the middle of this story, wounded by the wounds of our past and aching desperately for healing and resurrection. Christ calls us to look both ways, our past and our future. From TOB 69 we hear something of great importance:

“When Christ speaks of the future resurrection, his words do not fall on deaf ears … It will be a completely new experience, yet, at the same time, it will in no way be alienated from the experience that man has shared” since ‘Start”. ‘… The man of the’ future world ‘will find in this new experience of his body the fulfillment of what he has perennially and historically carried within himself.

We must seek healing. We must hope for what is coming. We must pray, sing and dance with those who have been given to us now, especially when she plays Taylor Swift! And we will prepare our hearts, minds and bodies to dance with our Lord at the heavenly wedding feast.

Because nothing is impossible for God.

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