Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Cecil L. Eubanks


Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, has written extensively about the human person and how that person acts in the world. Beginning with Wojtyla's doctoral dissertation presented at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas on the Catholic mystic St. John of the Cross and continuing through the most recent best seller, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Christian personalism has pervaded Wojtyla's writings, encyclicals, and public utterances. Wojtyla's perspective on economic justice, as shaped by his Christian personalism, is the subject of this dissertation. A systematic investigation of Wojtyla's theory of economic justice reveals a third way of economic life. Grounded in a particular interpretation of human nature influenced, as it is, by both the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the twentieth century phenomenologist Max Scheler, Wojtyla moves towards proclaiming an economic reality based upon love (agape). Love will then form the basis for an ethical evaluation of economic behavior. In the end, Wojtyla wishes to create a certain shared solidarity based upon a common human condition. In his discussion of economic justice he believes it is also possible to speak both of the universal transcendent reality that does not change and the relative demands of justice in the world.