Book Details

Of all my books, this may be my favorite.  I wanted to title it The Sweet Science, a phrase suggested by the mystical poetry of John of the Cross, who wrote “There He taught me the science full of sweetness …. There I promised to be His bride.”  The publisher pointed out that the expression “the sweet science” is also used for wrestling.

“With this magnificent book on the most confused and misunderstood issue of our age, J. Budziszewski enters the pantheon of living Christian writers.” —Chronicles

“J. Bud (as we, his faithful readers, refer to him) serenely avoids the usual pitfalls in this lucid and blessedly concise overview. No forced jocularity here, no prissiness, no muddle.” —Christianity Today

 “Charmingly simple and simply charming . . . An elegant, passionate book . . . A welcome clarion call to return to a more purposeful and intelligent way of understanding.”—Choice

“I teach a course on ‘Philosophy of Human Sexuality,’ and I must have read fifty to a hundred books on the topic. On the Meaning of Sex is, quite simply, num­ber one.” —Peter Kreeft, Boston College, coauthor of Handbook of Christian Apologetics

 “Budziszewski’s logic is flawless. . . . An eminently readable and powerful testament to unchanging truth.” —Anthony Esolen, author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

 “An eloquent, engaging description of the beauty of men, women, and sexuality . . . It hands on the wisdom of our forebears with care and winsomeness.” —Public Discourse

 “Engaging, illuminating . . . Read it and rediscover the mystery, beauty, and grandeur of human sexuality.” —Colleen Carroll Campbell, EWTN

“One needs to recommend this book with a warning: If you do not want to know what sex really is, if you do not want to act with truth in your soul about what is, do not read this book. It will only give you an unsettled soul, which is, indeed, probably what you need. Most of all, you need to read it.” —James V. Schall, SJ, Georgetown University, author of Another Sort of Learning

“In a style of argument reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, Budziszewski articulates the thoughts that so many young men and women begin to discern but seldom develop.” —Mark Regnerus, author of Forbidden Fruit


  1. Does Sex Have to Mean Something?
  2. The Meaning of the Sexual Powers
  3. The Meaning of Sexual Differences
  4. The Meaning of Sexual Love
  5. The Meaning of Sexual Beauty
  6. The Meaning of Sexual Purity
  7. Transcendence