A ponderous treatise on marriage (written back in 1960)--and, in truth, a cloistered view of sex. In flat-footed seminary textbook style, replete with Latin tags and scholastic distinctions, John Paul II argues for Christian personalism, as opposed to hedonism, sexual exploitation, and the whole utilitarian approach to ethics. This is fine as far as it goes, but it seldom goes beyond a tedious amplification of The Old Line, e.g., ""The fact that the first, sensual reaction--interest in the sexual value connected with the body--so easily turns into the second reaction, i.e., into carnal desire--proves that desire exists as a force underlying sensuality, a force which quickly channels sensual reactions in the direction of concupiscence."" It is not long, then, before the inevitable condemnation of divorce and birth control. No amount of psychic agony, it seems, ever justifies remarriage; and sexual relations without ""conscious acceptance of the possibility of parenthood"" are demeaning and sinful. An accurate reflection, at any rate, of the Pope's still-current beliefs.