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

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

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

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


"Written by Rocco Buttiglione, one of the Pope's closest friends and counselors, this volume is the standard work for all who want to understand the philosophical mind of Karol Wojtyla, the man who became Pope John Paul II. Based on an accurate reading of all of Wojtyla's works and of all relevant secondary literature, this English edition of Buttiglione's book provides a complete introduction to the Pope's philosophy and his original contribution to the philosophy of freedom. The early chapters give biographical information on Wojtyla and examine his early philosophical formation. The middle chapters explore in depth two of the Pope's central philosophical and theological conceptions - human love and the acting person. The closing chapters look at Wojtyla's role at the Second Vatican Council, examine his poetic works, and place his thought in dialogue with contemporary philosophy. New to this English edition of Buttiglione's work are a foreword by Michael Novak, an appendix published for the third edition of The Acting Person, and an afterword that updates the book with a survey of secondary literature on the Pope's thought published between 1982 and 1996." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


1. Meet Rocco Buttiglione

To meet Rocco Buttiglione is to like him. He is almost certain to greet you with a smile, a warm handshake, playful brown eyes, and a welcoming jest. He is likely to be carrying a pipe or a short Italian cigar. His English is excellent, but his German—the language in which he lectured at the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein for many years— and his French and Spanish (they say) are even better.

I suppose that Professor Buttiglione’s Polish is pretty good, too, for it happens that as a young professor he went to Cracow to study certain aspects of the philosophical method, called phenomenology, that originated in the German-speaking world and that later gained an important center, especially in the fields of ethics and aesthetics, in Poland. (Many other important intellectual impulses of the early twentieth century—associated with philosophers such as Carnap, Wittgenstein, Popper, and Husserl and economists like Hayek and von Mises—originated in Austria and influenced Poland.) While in Cracow, Buttiglione came to know the new bishop, Karol Wojtyła. When the latter, quite suddenly, was elected Pope in 1978, Rocco was immediately among his close friends and counselors.

Rocco, who was born in Gallipoli in the “hee” of Italy, exactly four years to the day after D-Day, June 6, 1948, took up at the same time a professorship in Teramo, near Rome. So far as I know, Rocco Buttiglione is the only living philosopher from whom Pope John Paul II has ever . . .

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