The Centre for the Thought of John Paul II
The Centre for the Thought of John Paul II is a self-governing cultural institution of the City of Warsaw, widely recognized for its implementation of large scale cultural and academic projects. It began its activity on 1 April 2006 with a mission to research, document and disseminate – in innovative ways – the teaching of John Paul II. Located in the heart of Warsaw, the Centre cooperates with outstanding academics and leading universities as well as with NGOs and other institutions in Poland and abroad.
The Research Institute of the Centre directs analytical and research projects and organizes international conferences, debates and summer schools. Collaborating with a growing network of expert scholars, members of the institute identify and explore questions that were of interest to John Paul II. Such questions are analyzed through the lens of philosophy and theology as well the social sciences and other disciplines.
The Centre boasts an exceptionally rich library collection consisting of books as well media and audiovisual materials, including 356 interviews that shed light on the person and impact of John Paul II. The Centre organizes several academic conferences annually as well as weekly seminars for students. Moreover, the Centre is home to one of Poland’s best amateur choirs and it regularly hosts artistic and cultural events that are open to the public. Its annual festival of theatre and arts, “Gorzkie Żale” (“Lenten Lamentations”), is well known amongst actors, artists and literary critics.
The Centre manages the official scholarship programme of the City of Warsaw, distributing scholarship funds of nearly PLN 2.5 mln annually to over 600 pupils and students studying in the City. The Centre has also published over 40 different publications on topics related to the life, thought and legacy of John Paul II.
International projects have included “The Treasure of Solidarity” comprised of academic seminars, field research and international conferences on the spiritual roots of solidarity, and “Dziedziniec Dialogu” – Warsaw’s “Courtyard of Dialogue” – comprised of high-level public debates concerning the issues of faith, culture, science and society.