In Poland in the 1940s and '50s, a new kind of Catholic intended to remake European social and political life—not with guns, but French philosophy This collective intellectual biography examines generations of deeply religious thinkers whose faith drove them into public life, including Karol Wojtyła, future Pope John Paul II, and Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the future prime minister who would dismantle Poland’s Communist regime. Seeking to change the way we understand the Catholic Church, World War II, the Cold War, and communism, this study centers on the idea of “revolution.” It examines two crucial countries, France and Poland, while challenging conventional wisdom among historians and introducing innovations in periodization, geography, and methodology. Why has much of Eastern Europe gone back down the road of exclusionary nationalism and religious prejudice since the end of the Cold War? Piotr H. Kosicki helps to understand the crises of contemporary Europe by examining the intellectual world of Roman Catholicism in Poland and France between the Church's declaration of war on socialism in 1891 and the demise of Stalinism in 1956.
About the Author
Piotr H. Kosicki is assistant professor of history at the University of Maryland. He has written for the Nation, the New Republic, and the Times Literary Supplement.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations xvii
Cast of Characters xxi
1 The Roots of Catholic "Revolution": Thomism, the "Human Person," and Emmanuel Mourner 21
2 Personalism at War: Clandestine Intellectual Life and Anti-Nazi Resistance in World War II 62
3 Catholicism in a Newly Communist World: Between Christian Democracy and Catholic Socialism 93
4 The Twilight of Social Catholicism? Emmanuel Mounier and Poland's Catholic Press, 1945-1948 114
5 World Peace on Nationalist Terms: Progressive Catholicism and the Stalinist Turn of 1948 152
6 Pastors and Catechumens: Catholic Renewal at the Margins of Marxist Revolution 189
7 Stalinist Catholics of Europe, Unite! The Stockholm Appeal and the Polish Project of a Catholic-Socialist International, 1949-1953 218
8 The Limits of Catholic "Revolution": The Vatican and Stalinism's Turn against the Church, 1953-1956 257