Lecture: “The Life and Death of a Catholic Alternative: The Case of Tadeusz Mazowiecki”


Location: 140 DeBartolo Hall

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) and the University of Notre Dame Department of History are pleased to announce a jointly-sponsored public lecture by Piotr Kosicki, assistant professor of history at the University of Maryland, titled “The Life and Death of a Catholic Alternative: The Case of Tadeusz Mazowiecki.”

During the 20th century, various European Catholics initiated a range of political projects charting a “third way” between liberalism and communism, with Catholic social teaching the basis for social and political activism. The recent death of former Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who shepherded Poland’s transition from communism to democracy in 1989, offers an extraordinarily illuminating lens on Catholic “third way” projects. A devout Catholic intellectual who spent four decades attempting to harmonize Catholic social teaching with state socialism, Mazowiecki ultimately, as prime minister, broke with both to pursue free markets aggressively. This lecture explores his story and the question of why a prime minister of one of the world’s most Catholic countries was unable to build a political program around Catholic social teaching.

In addition to his public lecture, Professor Kosicki will offer an undergraduate seminar titled “Vatican II and Communist Poland” and a graduate seminar titled “The Catholic 1968.”

Questions regarding Professor’s Kosicki’s lecture and seminars may be directed to Associate Director Don Stelluto.