T4934: John Paul II in his Polish Context (Preview)

Lublin, Czestochowa, Krakow, Warsaw
Faculty: Paul Wojda and Kenneth Kemp
01/01/2018 – 01/27/2018

This course examines the life, thought, and ongoing significance of Karol Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II against the background of the history, culture, and politics of his native Poland.

Academic Overview

John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła) was the first Slavic Pope in the history of the Catholic Church and the first non-Italian to occupy that office in more than 450 years. His long pontificate (1978-2005) witnessed profound changes within the Catholic Church, global Christianity, and world affairs (e.g., the collapse of the Soviet Union), in all of which this son of Poland played an important if not decisive role. This course will examine the origins, development, and legacy of Wojtyła’s thought in the context of the history, culture, and politics of his native Poland. Students will attend lectures at the Catholic University of Lublin (where Wojtyła taught), delivered by that university’s faculty (in some cases, people who knew and worked with Wojtyła). In addition to visits to sites in and around Lublin, there will be excursions to Cracow (where John Paul II served as Archbishop), Częstochowa, and Wadowice (his birthplace).

Program Fee
Cost: $4,520 – $4,820
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.  Comprehensive Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, twenty-two mid-day meals and eleven dinners (subject to change).

Students from the University of St. Thomas must have taken THEO101 and PHIL115.

Required Readings
Selections from primary sources, i.e., philosophical, theological, and literary writings of Pope John Paul II, including:

  • Philosophical Works—Love & Responsibility, Memory & Identity
  • Papal Encyclicals—e.g., Laborem Exercens, Centessimus Annus, Evangelium Vitae, Veritatis Splendor, Fides & Ratio.
  • Literary—The Jeweler’s Shop, “The Quarry,” “Thinking My Country,” “Stanislas”

Selections from secondary sources, such as:

  • George Williams, The Mind of John Paul II
  • George Weigel, Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
  • George Weigel, The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy

Reflection papers (5% and 10%):             15%
Reflection Journal:                                   20%
Poetry recitation:                                     10%
Final paper                                              25%
Final (oral) examination                           20% 
Participation (including language study)    10%

Program Directors
Paul J. Wojda, Ph.D. University of St. Thomas, (651) 962-5385, e-mail address: PJWojda@StThomas.edu

Kenneth W. Kemp, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas, (651) 962-5360, e-mail address: KWKemp@StThomas.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Professor Wojda, Associate Professor in the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas, has a B.A. in Government/Political Theory and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Ethics/Moral Theology. He studied abroad as an undergraduate in Austria and has taken UST students to Poland and Ukraine for three previous J-term courses.

Professor Kemp, Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of St. Thomas, has a Master’s Degree in Slavic linguistics and a Ph.D. in philosophy. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad in the Soviet Union and in Yugoslavia. More recently, he spent a semester in Poland under the Fulbright program. He has taken UST students to Poland for six previous J-term courses.

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

For more information on course content, contact Professor Wojda
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.