Karol Wojtyla: The Thought of the Man Who Became Pope John Paul II

By Rocco Buttiglione; Paolo Guietti et al. | Go to book overview

3. Karol Wojtyła’s
Philosophical Formation

The years between the end of the War and 1960 (when Love and Responsibility was published) became for Karol Wojtyła a sort of philosophical apprenticeship. During this time he went first to the Theology Faculty of the Angelicum in Rome, which was particularly shaped by the figure of Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, and then to the faculty of the Jagellonian University in Cracow, whose most respected member was Roman Ingarden, friend of Husserl and the father of Polish phenomenology. Garrigou-Lagrange introduced Wojtyła to St. Thomas and to St. John of the Cross, and Ingarden (and the other Cracow phenomenologists) made him aware of Scheler and of modern philosophy, especially that of Kant. In this chapter we will follow the progressive formation of Wojtyła’s original philosophical position, through his dialogue with St. John of the Cross, with Scheler, and with Kant. We will give a section to each of these philosophers and their relation to Wojtyła, concluding with his eventual return to Thomas, which followed each of his meetings with modern philosophy. This return, upon which he meditated critically, was the means by which Wojtyła created an original philosophical construction.

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