The present volume of the "Ethos" is devoted to the literary output of eminent Polish poet, late Zbigniew Herbert (1924-1998). In the text  F r o m t h e E d i t o r s  Wojciech Chudy points that an artist's life and his creativity should demonstrate a unity. In the extracts from his Letter to Artists John Paul II stresses the artist's vocation to transcend the sensual reality towards the invisible.

The introductory block of texts is entitled  T r a n s c e n d e n c e o f B e a u t y. It opens with Card. Carlo M. Martini's Pastoral Letter in which the Bishop of Milan reminds his faithful that beauty constitutes an irremovable dimension of the message of the Gospel. Stefan Sawicki in turn considers the question of what constitutes the essence of poetic creation, tending to perceive it in the poet's striving to transcend the limitations of the language and of the reality which it signifies. In his article, Wojciech Chudy points to different dimensions of the relations between art on the one hand and truth and falsehood on the other, as these have not been sufficiently recognized in aesthetics up to the present day (the author refers mainly to Roman Ingarden's aesthetic theory).

The succeeding part of articles bears the title  G o d a n d P o e t r y. In the opening article of that section, Jadwiga Puzynina discusses various usages and senses of the noun "skies/heaven" in Zbigniew Herbert's poetry. The article by Tomasz Garbol is devoted to the christological dimension of Herbert's poetry, the author pointing that the poet experiences the closeness of God, who in Christ becomes God suffering together with man. Maciej Nowak in turn shows the references to the Roman-Catholic liturgy which are present in Herbert's poetry.

The following set of texts, entitled  B e a u t y i n t h e F a c e o f S u f f e r i n g, opens with the reflections of Fr. Jan Sochoń on the religious dimension of Herbert's poetry. Lesław Hostyński points to the fact that the axiological foundations of Herbert's literary works, in particular the poet's sensitivity to suffering, cannot be comprehended unless reference is made to the philosophy of his teacher, Henryk Elzenberg, eminent Polish philosopher, for whom suffering, inseparable from human life, is simultaneously a chance for man to obtain deeper self-understanding.

The final part of the articles is entitled  U p h o l d i n g t h e V a l u e s. It opens with an article by Zdzisław Najder devoted to the subject of Fatherland and the nation in the poetry of Herbert, who, in the author's opinion, perceives Fatherland in moral categories, seeing it as the object of obligation and choice, while its Polish particularity finds only rare and discreet expression in his poetry. Jan Prokop in turn proposes a new reading of the poem Raport z oblężonego Miasta [Report from the Besieged City], in the light of the events which took place during the twenty years after it had been written. Adam Czerniawski considers the relation between the moral expression of a literary work and the particular moral profile of its author. Then Józef Fert negatively evaluates the recent edition of Herbert's early poems and his letters which had not been intended by the poet for publication. Finally, Piotr Siemaszko presents Herbert's artistic fascination with painting in an analysis of the poet's essays on Italian and Dutch painting.

In the section  I n t e r v i e w s o f t h e "E t h o s"  Fr. Alfred Wierzbicki talks to Abp. Józef Życiński about the Congress of Christian Culture "Sacrum and Culture. Christian Roots of the Future," which was held in the Catholic University of Lublin on 15-17 September 2000.

The section  T h i n k i n g a b o u t t h e F a t h e r l a n d... includes an article by Lech Chmielewski devoted to the profile of Witold Pilecki, a heroic soldier of the Polish Home Army during the Second World War, who was subsequently condemned to death by the communist regime.

The section  N o t e s a n d R e v i e w s opens with a review by Wojciech Kruszewski of a book by D. Opacka-Walasek "...pozostał wiernym niepewnej jasnoÑci." Wybrane problemy poezji Zbigniewa Herberta [" remain faithful to uncertain brightness." Selected problems of Zbigniew Herbert's poetry]. Wacław Pyczek discusses a two volume anthology of articles and essays on various aspects of Herbert's literary output, edited by A. Franaszek. Maria Cyranowicz reviews three volumes of the periodical "Zeszyty Literackie" [Literary Review] (Nos. 68., 69., 70.) which include, among others, Herbert's works unpublished during his lifetime. Then Agnieszka Bielak presents a criticism of M. Adamiec's book "...Pomnik trochę niezupełny..." Rzecz o apokryfach i poezji Z. Herberta [...Not quite a monument... On Herbert's apocrypha and poetry], in which the author interprets Herbert's poetry using categories characteristic of widely understood postmodernism. To conclude this section, Małgorzata Kitowska-Łysiak reviews a monograph by D. Łuszczek, OSPPE, devoted to religious inspirations in Polish painting and engraving from years 1981-1991.

The standing column  R e p o r t s  includes a report by Tomasz Garbol on two exhibitions devoted to the profile and literary output of Z. Herbert: "Zbigniew Herbert. Epilogue of the Storm," held in the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw, and "Zbigniew Herbert. A Feeling Stone", held in the Local Museum in the Sandomierz Castle.

In the section  T h e P o n t i f c a t e i n t h e E y e s o f t h e W o r l d  Leonard Górka, SVD, writes about John Paul II's pilgrimage to Egypt, Jordan and to the Holy Land.

The section  T h r o u g h t h e P r i s m o f t h e E t h o s  includes a feuilleton by Cezary Ritter, who suggests that the twentieth anniversary of the "Solidarity" trade union offers a good opportunity to return to its original inspirations.

The standing column of  B i b l i o g r a p h y  this time includes a bibligraphy of Karol Wojtyła's literary works and literary criticism (by Maria Filipiak). The volume concludes with  N o t e s a b o u t t h e A u t h o r s.