Pre-Pontifical Writings

As a priest, a professor of ethics, and a bishop Karol Wojtyla wrote a multitude of philosophical and theological articles on ethics.He also wrote poetry and plays. Some are available in English. Most will have Karol Wojtyla as the author, though recent editions may list John Paul II. The most significant are below.





First published writing:
(The Apostle). Krakow: Tygodnik Powszechny (a weekly magazine), 1949. An article about his friend and mentor in the life of prayer, Jan Tyranowski.

First published poetry:
(Mother). Krakow: Tygodnik Powszechny, 1950.

First Doctoral Dissertation:
Questio de fide apud S. Joannem a Cruce (The Question of Faith according to St. John of the Cross). Warsaw: Collectanea Theologica, 1950. The Holy Father's dissertation accomplished at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.

Faith According to St. John of the Cross. Ignatius Press, 1981. (out of print)

Second Doctoral Dissertation:
System etyczny Maksa Schelera jako srodek do opracowania etyki chrzescijanskiej (The ethical system of Max Scheler as means of constructing a Christian ethics). Krakow: Polonia Sacra, 1953. The Pope's dissertation to be admitted to university teaching written on the subject of the ethical system devised by German philosopher Max Scheler. The Pope was critical of the results Scheler achieved but found the phenomenological method which he used of some usefulness.

First published book:
Milosc i odpowiedzialnosc (Love and Responsibility). Lublin: Sudium etyczne, 1960.

Love and Responsibility. Ignatius Press (1-800-651-1531). The fruit of his pastoral experience with young people, the Holy Father shows the basis for Catholic sexual morality and addresses such important issues as attraction, desire, sentiment, sensuality, shame, friendship and love.

Major Philosophical Work:
Osaba i czyn
(Person and Act). Krakow: Pol. Tow. Teologiczne, 1969. The Holy Father develops his philosophical approach to the person, which involves the use of the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas for all that is objective in man and the phenomenological method for the study of man's personal subjectivity.

The Acting Person. Boston: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1979 (out of print).

Book on implementing the Second Vatican Council:
Upodstaw odnowy. Studium o realizacji Vaticanum II
(Sources of renewal. Studies on Realizing Vatican II). Krakow: Pol. Tow. Teologiczne, 1972. Intended as a vade-mecum (a take along book), to guide the pastoral synod of the Archdiocese of Krakow in their deliberations, and introducing the reader to the documents of Vatican II and how they can be implemented as a response of faith to God's action through the Council.

Sources of Renewal. The Implementation of Vatican II. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979.

Retreat Given to Pope Paul VI:
Sign of Contradiction. New York: Seabury, 1979. The Lenten Retreat preached in 1976 by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla to Pope Paul VI and the papal household.

His Most Famous Play:
Przed sklepem jubilera. Medytacja o Sakraemcie Malzenstwa przechodzaca chwilami w dramat
by Andrzej Jawien (his literary pseudonym). Krakow: Znak, 1960.

The Jeweler's Shop: A Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony, Passing on Occasion into a Drama. San Francisco: Ignatius Press (1-800-651-1531), 1992. Also, available as a video, with Burt Lancaster in the lead, from Ignatius Press and others.

Dramatic Works:
Easter Vigil & Other Poems
. New York: Random House, 1979.

The Collected Plays and Writings on Theatre. University of California Press, 1987. (out of print)

Bibliographical Resource:
Of use to researchers is a bibliography of the pre-pontifical writings of Karol Wojtyla (1949-1978) and books to 1978 about him or his writings. Karol Wojtyla negli Scritti. Bibliografia. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1980.