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André Ong
The Possibility of a Post-modern Metaphysics of the Human Person: The Thomistic-Phenomenology of Karol Wojty³a /Pope John Paul II


It has become commonplace to talk about “The End of Metaphysics” and “Religion after Metaphysics” to express a sense of relief over the liberation of religion and philosophy from an oppressive and extrinsic concept. Religious thought “after metaphysics” according to this sentiment, should not be beholden to or be dependent on ontology. Arguments for this sentiment have become more refined since Hume called for books on metaphysics to be committed to the flames. Given this sensibility, is it possible to construct a Post-modern metaphysics of the human person? It will be argued in this paper that Karol Wojty³a/Pope John Paul II has done just that in his philosophical anthropology. While much of recent philosophy has insisted that we cannot get to the truth of things, Wojty³a has argued that we can get to metaphysics and the truth of reality through anthropology. This paper will first focus on how Wojty³a arrives at the metaphysics of the human person through the phenomenology of experience. Second, is Wojty³a a phenomenologist, or a Thomist, or both? Third, how does Wojtyla develop and examine his Post-modern metaphysics of the human person in the Papal Encyclicals?

AndrĂ© Ong is an Associate Lecturer and Ministry Fellow at the Academy for Christian Thought in New York.  He graduated from Claremont Graduate University writing his doctoral dissertation on “The Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics of Karol Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II.”  His primary interests include philosophical anthropology, philosophical theology, Hegelian philosophy, Christian ethics and Catholic moral theology.  His upcoming book, “Karol Wojtyła’s Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics: Towards a Dialectical Anthropology of Concrete Totality,” is published by Catholic University of America Press.  He is also the senior pastor at the International Christian Church of San Diego.


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