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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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John Paul II and the Mystery of the Human Person

John Paul II and the Mystery of the Human Person

October 21, 2003

(p.414) 30 John Paul II and the Mystery of the Human Person
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the mystery of the human person, looking at the literary output of Pope John Paul II. It argues that at the heart of the pope's message lies the mystery of the human person. In The Acting Person, a work published shortly before he became pope, Cardinal Wojtyla expounded a theory of the person as a self-determining agent that realizes itself through free and responsible action. After becoming pope, John Paul II used personalism as a lens through which to reinterpret much of the Catholic tradition. He unhesitatingly embraced all the dogmas of the Church, but expounded them with a personalist slant. The discussion notes that he found ways of extending personalism to deal with political and economic issues, drawing on his conceptions of human action, personal participation, and free initiative.

Keywords:   John Paul II, Wojtyla, human person, personalism, The Acting Person

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