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DOI 10.12887/28-2015-3-111-18

Aneta GAWKOWSKA – Gift and (De)Construction: The Theological Anthropology of John Paul II and a Handful of Reflections about the Present

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The article analyzes the dynamics of self-giving in the relationship of man and woman as an expression of the realization of the imago Dei in the communion of persons set forth in the theological anthropology of John Paul II. Within this dynamics the key role is played by the woman whose existence calls the man to the relationship modelled on the internal relation of the Holy Trinity. The anthropological vision of the Book of Genesis suggests an understanding of human nature through the concept of the gift of one person to another within a relationship of equal and mutual subjects. Its realization requires the complementarity of the sexes, i.e. the existence of man and woman. This vision underpins the New Feminism whose aim is to show the essence of femininity and the anthropological basis of the dignity of the woman. These foundations are associated with the personalist sensitivity to the value of persons and their relationships as well as with the potential of raising the relational awareness of man together with the realization of the full meaning of the gift as the participation in the life of God as the loving communion. That is why the New Feminism presents the issues of the community as a gift, the truth about love as the basis of community, and the realistic openness to the reality as an attitude prior to its creative development. In this context the article cites the philosophical arguments from Mary F. Rousseau and Fabrice Hadjadj, who independently present a similar picture of the community. In addition, the article addresses the questions of corporeality and femininity in the theory of Hadjadj, who perceived those concepts in a manner similar to that proposed in John Paul II’s anthropology. In an interesting critique of the contemporary constructivist approach to nature, Hadjadj associates the fairly common modern reluctance to accept the biological body as a gift with the rejection of the perspective of nature as a gift. This rejection may be connected with suspicion towards the gift and the perception of it as a form of restricting freedom, which in turn may cause the contemporary attitude of radical construction and deconstruction. The latter author, however, writes, in an interesting way, about the attractiveness of the sense inherent in the nature of corporeality. The article follows the trail of perception of such acceptance of the sense of nature as an expression of a deeply ecological approach consistent with the teaching of Pope Francis set out in his encyclical Laudato si. Accepting nature as a gift is shown in the conclusion of the article as linked to a certain slowdown in activity together with contemplation and rest, which, after Hadjadj, again seems to be connected with femininity.

Keywords: theological anthropology, John Paul II, gift, body, sexuality, woman, love, person, relation, receptivity, contemporaneity, construction, New Feminism, community

Contact: Katedra Socjologii i Antropologii Prawa i Obyczajów, Instytut Stosowanych Nauk Społecznych,
Uniwersytet Warszawski, ul. Nowy Świat 69, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland

E-mail: aneta.gawkowska@uw.edu.pl


Pliki do pobrania:

» 111_Gawkowska.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 70.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887