In this compelling new work, Jaroslaw Kupczak, O.P., presents a complete introduction to John Paul II's theory of the human person. Both enlightening and accessible, the book traces the development of Karol Wojtyla's theology from his earlier and lesser-known writings -- The Habilitation Thesis and Lublin Lectures -- to his more popular writings -- Love and Responsibility and The Acting Person. The author finds that Wojtyla is a remarkably consistent thinker. Unlike many of his contemporaries, his thought has never undergone any intellectual revolution or change. His earlier writings thus make possible a fuller appreciation of the more popular texts and Papal encyclicals.
Throughout the entire book, the author patiently guides the reader through the complexity of Wojtyla's thought. Kupczak presents analytical commentary of Wojtyla's key philosophical texts, most of which are still not available in English. Given his access to the original Polish texts, he provides a missing link between the moral teaching of John Paul II and the early stages of his intellectual career.
Kupczak carefully examines the main sources of Wojtyla's moral theory: the mystical theology of St. John of the Cross, the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, and modern phenomenology, especially that of Max Scheler. Among the key anthropological concepts presented and analyzed are: ethical values and human freedom, the relation between freedom and truth, the conscience and consciousness, the human body, and the process of human cognition.