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The Phenomenology of Pope John Paul II

What influence did phenomenology have upon Karol Wojtyla, the philosopher, and John Paul II, in his role as leader of the teaching church? While the positive impact that John Paul II had upon the contemporary world was extensive and will have lasting importance, an often-neglected aspect that grounded and inspired his many contributions was his philosophical background.  The Phenomenology of Pope John Paul II will be the focus of a two-day symposium at Duquesne University from Dec. 1-2 in the Duquesne Room of the Duquesne Union.

“Phenomenology is the area of philosophy that analyzes closely all aspects of human experience: sense perception, action, and even our enjoyment of beauty,” explained Dr. Dan Martino, director of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center at Duquesne.  “In the Pope’s phenomenological writings, human experience takes on very rich and meaningful form, as the locus for the physical and spiritual development of the human person in all walks and stages of life. This conference aims to showcase these insights not only in the philosophical writings of the Karol Wojtyla, but also his play The Jeweler’s Shop.”

Free and open to the public, The Phenomenology of Pope John Paul II is sponsored by the Phenomenology Center, the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Philosophy.  The symposium will feature the following keynote addresses:

  • George Weigel, the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Wojtyla's Walk among the Philosophers
  • Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, The Metaphysical Realism of John Paul II
  • Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, The Mind of John Paul II

Numerous paper and panel presentations include topics such as Phenomenologist and Poet: Husserl and Wojtyla on the Literary Work of Art; All the World Was His Stage: Karol Wojtyla, The Phenomenological Actor, Director, Playwright, and Pope; and From Self-Determination to Self-Reception: John Paul II on the Person and Virtues.

John Paul II’s play, The Jeweler’s Shop, will be performed by Duquesne University students each night of the symposium at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Peter Mills Auditorium of Rockwell Hall on campus.  The three-act play explores relationships between men and women, and the joys and the pain of love and marriage.

Registration is required as seating is limited.  To register and for a detailed schedule, visit www.duq.edu/JPIIconference, e-mail phenomenology@duq.edu or call 412.396.6038.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.