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2013 | 3 | 1 |
Article title

From the Faculty of Theology of the Kraków Academy to the John Paul II Pontifical University in Kraków 1397–2009

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EN
In 1397 Pope Boniface IX, at the request of King Władysław Jagiełło and his wife Saint Jadwiga (Hedvig), Queen of Poland, called into being a Faculty of Theology in Studium Generale in Kraków. Scientific talents and hard work together with universal support of the state and Church authorities set the young faculty on its feet immediately. The period of the first hundred years was a golden age in the development of the Faculty. It rapidly won fame not only in Poland but also in all Europe, mainly because of the speeches of its theologians at the Councils of Constance and Basle. The fame of Kraków theologians spread throughout Europe during the period of the Council of Basle. During the period of the Reformation, professors of the university, then called the Kraków Academy, were involved in defence of the Catholic Church. During the Council of Trent (1545–1563) in the university circles there appeared splendid works impugning the Protestant and neo-Arian views. The codification of dogmas at the Council of Trent facilitated the teaching methods and acceptance of Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas as the best interpretation of the Christian outlook.In 1795, Poland was completely erased from the map of Europe, torn and divided between Prussia, Russia and Austria. Kraków came under the sway of the Austrians, beginning a difficult period for the Faculty of Theology and the whole University. The Austrian system concerning politics and the Church, called Josephinism, was damaging to the theological studies there. The re-organisation of the Faculty in 1880 was very crucial. It restored full academic rights, and the increasing number of chairs initiated a period of intense re-building of the University’s role in Polish culture, which it had enjoyed in the 15th–16th centuries. In 1880–1939, the Faculty experienced something similar to a second spring, comparable with its golden 15th century. The successful development of the Faculty was dramatically interrupted by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 and the following gehenna of the Nazi occupation.After the war, the struggle with the Church, atheistic policy and laicisation planned by the communist government prevented a normal development of the Faculty outright. The faculty’s existence was in jeopardy. The threat of liquidation appeared unavoidable and then it became fact. The Council of Ministers of the Polish People’s Republic by its unilateral decision of 1954, without any agreement with the Church, connected the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University to the Faculty of Catholic Theology of Warsaw University to form the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw, which had just been created by the government. The Faculty of Theology in Kraków survived as an independent faculty due to the uncompromising attitude of the Apostolic See and the Kraków bishops. In 1974 the Faculty, functioning within the Metropolitan Seminary, was bestowed the title ‘pontifical.’ A turning point in the history of the Faculty was its re-structuring as an academy with three faculties. In 1981, Pope John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy of Theology. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI elevated it to the John Paul II Pontifical University.
PL
In 1397 Pope Boniface IX, at the request of King Władysław Jagiełło and his wife Saint Jadwiga (Hedvig), Queen of Poland, called into being a Faculty of Theology in Studium Generale in Kraków. Scientific talents and hard work together with universal support of the state and Church authorities set the young faculty on its feet immediately. The period of the first hundred years was a golden age in the development of the Faculty. It rapidly won fame not only in Poland but also in all Europe, mainly because of the speeches of its theologians at the Councils of Constance and Basle. The fame of Kraków theologians spread throughout Europe during the period of the Council of Basle. During the period of the Reformation, professors of the university, then called the Kraków Academy, were involved in defence of the Catholic Church. During the Council of Trent (1545–1563) in the university circles there appeared splendid works impugning the Protestant and neo-Arian views. The codification of dogmas at the Council of Trent facilitated the teaching methods and acceptance of Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas as the best interpretation of the Christian outlook.In 1795, Poland was completely erased from the map of Europe, torn and divided between Prussia, Russia and Austria. Kraków came under the sway of the Austrians, beginning a difficult period for the Faculty of Theology and the whole University. The Austrian system concerning politics and the Church, called Josephinism, was damaging to the theological studies there. The re-organisation of the Faculty in 1880 was very crucial. It restored full academic rights, and the increasing number of chairs initiated a period of intense re-building of the University’s role in Polish culture, which it had enjoyed in the 15th–16th centuries. In 1880–1939, the Faculty experienced something similar to a second spring, comparable with its golden 15th century. The successful development of the Faculty was dramatically interrupted by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 and the following gehenna of the Nazi occupation.After the war, the struggle with the Church, atheistic policy and laicisation planned by the communist government prevented a normal development of the Faculty outright. The faculty’s existence was in jeopardy. The threat of liquidation appeared unavoidable and then it became fact. The Council of Ministers of the Polish People’s Republic by its unilateral decision of 1954, without any agreement with the Church, connected the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University to the Faculty of Catholic Theology of Warsaw University to form the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw, which had just been created by the government. The Faculty of Theology in Kraków survived as an independent faculty due to the uncompromising attitude of the Apostolic See and the Kraków bishops. In 1974 the Faculty, functioning within the Metropolitan Seminary, was bestowed the title ‘pontifical.’ A turning point in the history of the Faculty was its re-structuring as an academy with three faculties. In 1981, Pope John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy of Theology. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI elevated it to the John Paul II Pontifical University.
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bwmeta1.element.ojs-doi-10_15633_pch_487
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