1. ks. mgr Wojciech Kotowicz - streszczenie
  2. prof. dr hab. Anna Latawiec - recenzja
  3. ks. dr hab. Tadeusz Pabjan - recenzja


The problem of relation between science and religion
in Józef Życiński’s philosophy


Summary of doctoral dissertation


The aim of this dissertation is the presentation and analysis of Józef Życiński’s views upon the relations between science and religion. Józef Życiński, a priest, a public intellectual and a scholar, was born in 1948 in Nowa Wieś. He studied theology at the seminar in Kraków. After graduating in 1972, he was ordained a catholic priest and quickly returned to Kraków, where he defended two doctorates in theology and philosophy. In 1980 he held the habilitation colloquium and worked for The Pontifical Academy of Theology, where was the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. In 1990 he became bishop of Tarnów, trying to keep the scientific work, in 1997 he became Archbishop of Lublin and the Grand Chancellor of Catholic University in Lublin. This work required a lot of effort, in university teaching and pastoral care. Over the course of his life he wrote a number of academic books and articles, among them: God and Evolution,  God and Post-modern Thought, The Universe: Machine or Thought?Theism and Analytical PhilosophyThe God of Abraham and Whitehead, and many other works. His research interests were wide-ranging. In February 2011 he went to Rome, where he was invited with lectures and unexpectedly died at age 62.


Justifying the choice of the problem of the dissertation two things must be observed. Firstly Życiński’s scientific activities as a philosopher, theologian and thinker building up a coherent vision of the world demands systematic elaboration and appreciation. In the professional literature there have not been any works devoted to the Archbishop Życiński deceased in 2011 so far, especially those at a monograph level. Secondly, most of Życiński’s scientific publications either directly or indirectly deal with the relation between science and religion.


The structure of the dissertation stems from the classical division of the philosophy of nature – Życiński’s main subject matter – into the following fields: methodology of philosophy of nature, philosophy of inanimate nature and philosophy of animate nature. The division is crucial for one more reason. A specific evolution can be noticed in Życiński’s scientific legacy. This development is depicted by the life of Życiński itself- from university professor, interested in methodology of research and „philosophy in science”, a person designing vision of processing universe. And finally a bishop, a member of higher orders of clergy, working not only at his desk, but among people caring about the wellbeing of the ones who entrusted their destiny in his hands. Therefore in the second stage of life his scientific works deal with the problems concerning life, its evolution, values as well the presence of evil in the world. In the first chapter Życiński’s views upon science and religion in relation to more general aspects of philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. This part of the dissertation constitutes the introduction to more detailed discussions through defining basic notions, standpoints and preparation of terminological tools.


One of the most important issues tackled in this dissertation is distinction between ontological naturalism and methodological naturalism. Both positions are used as units of methodological analysis of religion, science as well as relations between both. Życiński’s view is convergent with a certain philosophical tradition accepting methodological naturalism (methodological positivism) simultaneously rejecting ontological naturalism. It must be mentioned that foregoing tradition has been strongly criticized by the scholars opting for ontological naturalism, and considering it to be the only naturalism acceptable. In this chapter different types of reductionisms are discussed both from the perspective of religion and science. In this context Życiński’s original view on the controversy between science and religion is introduced and analyzed, the views which is to avoid extreme scientism and fideism known under the acronym NOMA.


Second chapter is devoted to Życiński’s philosophical concept of inanimate nature as well as its meaning for the issue of science-religion relation. Życiński’s view upon the issue is multiaspect application of platonic idea. The illustration of the first of the above-mentioned train of platonic idea in Życiński’s philosophy is the concept of rationality field as the bedrock of reality. The consequence of the marriage of platonic idea with the assertion of the contemporary science (physics and mathematics ) is the thesis of mathematical essence of the universe as well as of “dematerialisation of the matter” in the contemporary physics. According to Życiński the contemporary physics more and more often tends to identify material reality with mathematical structures or represent physical processes with different types of formalism. The chapter finishes with the analysis of his concept of emergent universe, being contemporary explanation of the world’s unity, simultaneously presenting diversity of the elements engendering ordered hierarchy of the levels of emergent structure.


The third chapter of the dissertation discusses Życiński’s views upon the philosophy of inanimate nature. The most prominent and historically significant issue in this area was the religious reaction to theory of evolution, as well as its derivatives such as varieties of evolutionism. The reaction of the Church to the publication of Darwin’s work has been presented, both the views of Christian theologians, religious philosophers and the official standpoint of the Roman Catholic Church. Józef Życiński’s original interpretation of the theory of evolution in the context of God’s influence on the world, as well as his interdisciplinary dialogue with contemporary natural idea are presented in this chapter.


Autor: Andrzej Zykubek
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 15.02.2016, godz. 14:03 - Andrzej Zykubek