DOI 10.12887/33-2020-1-129-15

Jerzy SIKORA – “A Master of Conversation and Encounter”: The Phenomenon of Dialogue in the Sermons of Fr. Józef Tischner

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This article presents an analysis of the sermons of Fr. Józef Tischner considered a linguistic phenomenon within the context of literary and homiletic communication. The author focuses on the marks of conversation present in Tischner’s homilies, analyzing them in terms of the structure of the communication process (sender−message−recipient, and the relationship between them). Being a ‘master of the spoken word,’ Tischner attached great importance to the sermon conceived of as a realm of dialogue and encounter. As a philosopher and a preacher, he adopted a creative approach to language, engaging his listeners so that they would become active ‘co-authors’ of his sermons. He maintained a close contact with his audience and adjusted the form and the content of his discourse to their needs and capabilities. By posing problems and looking for solutions together with his listeners, he encouraged their independent reflection. Homilies preached during the Holy Mass for children were considered by Tischner as particularly important. He stressed that they must be given a different form than those usually preached to adults, namely the form of a dialogue. Trying to perceive the world as if through the eyes of a child, he adapted his manner of preaching the Gospel to the child’s value hierarchy and way of thinking. Tischner’s homilies addressed important issues of his time, at the same time expressing a certain axiology. He also contributed to the development of the sermon genre by using elements of the folklore of his native region (Podhale) and traditional storytelling techniques, as well as preaching in his local dialect.

Keywords: Józef Tischner, preaching, phenomenon of conversation, dialogue, encounter, language 

Contact: Katedra Polskiej Literatury Współczesnej i Krytyki Literackiej, Instytut Filologii Polskiej, Wydział Nauk Humanistycznych, Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego,
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  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