Józef Tischner

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Józef Stanisław Tischner
Born (1931-03-12)12 March 1931
Stary Sącz, Poland
Died 28 June 2000(2000-06-28) (aged 69)
Kraków, Poland
Education Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Parent(s) Józef Tischner and Weronika Tischner (Chowaniec)
Church Roman Catholic Church
Ordained 26 June 1955
Congregations served
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kraków

Józef Stanisław Tischner (12 March 1931 – 28 June 2000) was an eminent Polish priest and philosopher. The first chaplain of the trade union, "Solidarity" (Polish Solidarność), he was an exceptional moral authority and one of the most admired figures in Poland, both during and after the anti-communist uprising.

Tischner was born in Stary Sącz to a Góral family and grew up in the village Łopuszna in the south east of Poland. He studied at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In the 1970s he became an important writer of the opposition movement against the socialist government of the People's Republic of Poland. In 1980s he was considered the semi-official chaplain of the Solidarity movement, and was praised by Pope John Paul II.

After the fall of communism in 1989, he continued preaching the importance of ethics in the new capitalist Poland. In September 1999, Tischner received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest decoration.

Tischner remains a controversial figure to the Polish right-wing and Catholic episcopacy. He frequently criticized Polish religiousness by calling it as flat (shallow) as a pancake, he also accused the Polish clergy of being extremely conservative, engaged in politics and anti-Semitic.

Fellow of Collegium Invisibile as a professor of philosophy.[1]

He died in Kraków on 28 June 2000.


Tischner wrote and published more than 600 articles and books.

His two main works, in which he explained his original philosophical concepts, are:

  • The Philosophy of Drama (Filozofia dramatu) (1998)
  • The Controversy over Human Existence (Spór o istnienie człowieka) (1998)

Most notable among his Góral themed works is:

  • A Goral History of Philosophy (Historia filozofii po góralsku) (1997)


  1. ^ "List of Fellows". ci.edu.pl. Retrieved 25 April 2011.


  • "Nie ma rzeczy niemożliwych" . Magazyn Kulturalny Tygodnika Powszechnego nr 7/8 (56/57), 08 lipca 2001.
  • "Lektury nie tylko obowiązkowe". Dziennik Polski, 14 maja 2009.

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