Andrzej Towiański

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Andrzej Towiański
Graves of members of Koło Sprawy Bożej and their leader Andrzej Towiański

Andrzej Tomasz Towiański (Polish pronunciation: [anˈdʐej tɔˈvʲaɲskʲi]; January 1, 1799 – May 13, 1878) was a Polish philosopher and Messianist religious leader.


Towiański was born in Antoszwińce, a village near Wilno, which after Partitions of Poland belonged to the Russian Empire. He was the charismatic leader of the Towiańskiite sect, known also as Koło Sprawy Bożej (the Circle of God's Cause). In 1839 he experienced a vision in which the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary urged him to act as a messenger of the Apocalypse.[1] The Poles, the French - particularly Napoleon - and Jews were to play leading roles.[1] Among those influenced by his thinking were the Polish Romantic poets Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, and Seweryn Goszczyński.[2]

His extraordinary influence on Mickiewicz, a leader of the Polish emigre community, was divisive, and some members of the community accused him of being a Russian agent.[3]

He died in Zurich.

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