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DOI 10.12887/29-2016-4-116-17

Zofia ZARĘBIANKA – On the Beauty that Equals Mercy: The Conceptions of Mercy in Karol Wojtyła’s Play Our God’s Brother, as seen in the context of John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter Dives in Misericordia

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The article presents a comparative analysis of the conceptions of mercy put forward in two texts by Karol Wojtyła–John Paul II, namely in his play Our God’s Brother and in the Encyclical Letter Dives in Misericordia. The existing interpretations of Our God’s Brother tend to disregard its theological aspects and focus on the biographic and historical issues instead. The author proposes a different approach to the reading of Wojtyła’s play and holds that its theological aspects, in particular the reference to the category of mercy, are crucial to its interpretation. A comparison of the ideational layer of the play with that of the encyclical in question leads to the conclusion that the most significant ideas present in Dives in Misericordia were expressed—in a non-discursive way—in the play Our God’s Brother, which preceded the encyclical by thirty years. This discovery confirms the axiological and ideational unity of the Polish Pope’s entire output, as well as the rightness of those who have pointed that Wojtyła’s literary works must be considered in terms of a ‘laboratory of thought’ which prepared the ground for his later writings making use of genres other than literary.

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: drama play, mercy, encyclical, Our God’s Brother, Dives in Misericordia

The present article is an expanded version of the paper Koncepcje miłosierdzia w świetle “Brata naszego Boga” Karola Wojtyły w kontekście encykliki “Dives in misericordia” Jana Pawła II, delivered on October 20, 2016, at the House of the Archbishops of Warsaw during the conference organized by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute of John Paul II (Cracow, Poland) and the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II (Warsaw, Poland), as part of the project to publish a critical edition of the literary works by Karol Wojtyła–John Paul II.

Contact: Katedra Historii Literatury Polskiej XX Wieku,
Wydział Polonistyki, Uniwersytet Jagielloński,
ul. Gołębia 16-18, 30-007 Cracow, Poland

E-mail: zofia.zarebianka@uj.edu.pl

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» 116_Zarebianka.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887