Why Modern Science Needs John Paul II

Presented at: John Paul the Great Legacy Project Symposium; John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington DC  October 17, 2009  Abstract:  In this audio file I begin in part 1 by looking at a series of quotations from Pope John Paul II in order to get at two meanings of “progress” in his thought. One meaning of progress, the Pope holds, is good and very helpful to humanity, while the other meaning of progress makes us “less human.” There is a handout with the quotations on it for part 1 below which can be clicked on to open. In part 2 of the talk, I speak more freely, giving a phenomenological analysis of 5 different human experiences which reveal the intimate union of the spiritual and physical that human persons are – also known as the body/soul unity of human beings. And in part 3, I apply the points above to two areas of concern. First, I attempt to give a new way of explaining the underlying reasons on which the Catholic Church basis her moral teaching against contraception; I do this based on our experience of our own body/soul unity. Secondly, I attempt to frame to core question when it comes to the treatment of embryonic human persons. At times during the lecture, I say that I will not have time to get to the points in part 3, but I do cover them in the end.

Christian Personalism and Theology of the Body

In this lecture I express some of the insights from Christian Personalism/Realist Phenomenology about the spiritual and bodily unity that human persons are and how these insights inform John Paul II’s Theology of the body. In other words, this lecture attempts to show the mystery and beauty of the fact that human persons are spiritual and bodily. In the end I explain an argument to support the Church’s teaching forbidding contraception related to this bodily and spiritual unity of human persons and to spousal love.   This lecture, the full title of which is “The Christian Personalism of John Paul II as the Foundation of Theology of the Body”, was given at the National Theology of the Body Congress in the Philadelphia area, held July 28 – 30, 2010, and is posted here with permission.   Christian Personalism and Theology of the Body.



Relation between Suffering and Love in Catholic Teaching

In this talk I try to express the sensitivity with which Pope John Paul II and other authors deal with the difficult question of suffering and its relationship to love. This talk was given at St. John of Rochester Catholic Church, Fairport, NY on February 13, 2008.   Relation between suffering and love in Catholic teaching.


Catholic Teaching on Artificial Reproductive Technology

Reflections on Christian Anthropology as the Foundation  of the Culture of Life. I attempt to explain why the Catholic Church opposes In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Personal Uniqueness in the Thought of John Paul II and Max Scheler

Peter J. Colosi, “The Uniqueness of Persons in the Life and Thought of Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II, with Emphasis on His Indebtedness to Max Scheler”. Chapter 3 in Karol Wojtyla’s Philosophical Legacy, eds. Nancy Mardas Billias, Agnes B. Curry and George F. McLean, (Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2008), 61 – 100.   Colosi – Personal Uniqueness Wojtyla-Scheler: Abstract: Throughout the writings of Karol Wojtyla, both before and after he became Pope John Paul II, one finds expressions of gratitude and indebtedness to the philosopher Max Scheler. I list several of these expressions in the appendix of this paper. Wojtyla’s overall attitude is one of respect for a master from whom he learned much, and this fact is not contradicted by noting that he also rejected forcefully certain errors he perceived in Scheler’s thought. A thorough cataloguing of the Schelerian theses embraced by Wojtyla would be a helpful addition to scholarship on both authors. My main goal here, however, is to focus on one single theme in Scheler that Wojtyla embraced. That theme is the uniqueness of persons. My idea is not that Wojtyla wrote an explicit philosophical development of Scheler’s individual value essence. Rather, I mean to show that Scheler’s development of individual persons and love between persons so impressed itself on Wojtyla that it is expressed in striking ways in many of his writings and also when he describes his personal encounters with people in pastoral settings. In this paper I also rely on the work of the philosopher John F. Crosby.   The paper is reposted here with permission and in exact image format for citation purposes. The entire book, Karol Wojtyla’s Philosophical Legacy, is available in full text and exact image format on Google books here.

Personhood, the Soul, and Non-Conscious Human Beings: Some Critical Reflections on Recent Forms of Argumentation within the Pro-Life Movement

Personhood, the Soul and Non-Conscious Human Beings: Some Critical Reflections on Recent Forms of Argumentation within the Pro-Life Movement. Life and Learning XVII, (Conference Proceedings of University Faculty for Life, Villanova University June 1-3, 2007), 277-304.   Colosi, Personhood, the Soul and Non-conscious Human beings.   This article explores a certain foundational problem I sometimes detect in some recent Prolife argumentation and uses Altered Nuclear Transfer-Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming (ANT-OAR) as an example.   Abstract:   This paper has grown out of concerns that I have about the way in which some pro-life arguments have been developing recently, and it is written in a spirit of frank dialogue with those whom I consider allies. I present three basic problems within some prominent contemporary pro-life argumentation, all three of which are rooted in a general tendency towards relying on empirical science in an increasingly exclusive way as the foundation of those arguments. The three problems that I touch on are: a neglect of the role of God in human procreation, a neglect of the dignity of women, and a neglect of understanding personal being.   Please visit University Faculty for Life where this paper was first presented and published. The paper is reposted here with permission and in exact image format for citation purposes.