Person: Encounters, Paradigms, Commitment and Applications

Diana Prokofyeva, Colin Patterson (Eds.)

by James McLachlan (Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina), Robert F. DeVall, Jr. , Piotr Goliszek (John Paul II Catholic University, Lublin, Poland), Daryl Hale (Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina), Stanisław Kolbusz , Eugene Korn (Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Jerusalem, Israel), Antoni Magdoń (University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland), Colin Patterson , Sławomir Gacka , Diana Prokofyeva (ETU "LETI", St. Petersburg, Russia), Randall Auxier (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Ewa Smołka (The State School of Higher Education in Chełm, Poland), Ithamar Teodor (University of Haifa, Israel), Juan Manuel Burgos (Universidad Villanueva, Spain), Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley (California State University, Bakersfield, California), Rocco Sacconaghi (De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois), Bogumił Gacka (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland)

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This volume presents the state of the art for an important emerging way of thinking about philosophy, religion, and the social sciences. After 400 years of quasi-dualistic separation of spiritual versus mechanistic, empirical versus metaphysical, consciousness versus physicality, these essays now point to a revitalizing of “person” as self-organizing, not reactive; self-moving, not merely pushed; purposeful, not aimless; embodied, not ghostly; and relational, not micro-reductive. Important contributions here discuss the philosophical work of John Macmurray, Martin Luther King, Hindu Personalism, the personalist approach to environmental ecology, the phenomenological personalism of Edith Stein and Pope John Paul II, and working-class perspectives on the meaning and dignity of personhood.

Ralph D. Ellis
Author of 'The Moral Psychology of Internal Conflict'

The reading of this book will be essential for three audiences: a) those who believe that Personalism has little or no metaphysical power; b) those who appreciate the Western metaphysical tradition, and yet are dissatisfied with the incapacity of what such a metaphysics has to say about what is proper to personhood: incorporated existence, subjectivity, donation, relationality, etc.; c) those who are sympathetic to Personalism and desire its metaphysical basis to be further developed.
Juan Manuel Burgos is laying some foundations that were not established for Personalism. He is not only a Wojtyla scholar and a Maritain expert, nor is he only a great reader of Buber, von Hildebrand, Nedoncelle, Guardini, or Julián Marías; he is beyond this. He has earned the position of the most prominent personalist philosopher in the Spanish-speaking world. His books are currently translated into other languages. His contributions will be crucial for the direction that much of the Personalist reflection will take in what remains of the 21st century.

Dr. Jorge Medina
Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, México

Personalist thought offers fundamental perspectives which are able to shape the broader fields of philosophy, theology, and related areas of study. Familiarity with the scope of its recent developments is valuable not only for personalist scholars but also for those interested in non-materialist thought and especially the problems and questions of the person in various aspects. This work, bringing together papers from a 2019 conference, aims to serve these readerships. It will also provide an archival record of the state of the field at this point in Western intellectual history.

In terms of content, the work addresses four general themes: personalist thought as it is encountered in the writings of particular scholars; the place of personalism within broader philosophical thought; personalist engagement with major religious traditions; and the application of personalist modes of thinking to a range of real-world questions.

The book is unique in that it brings together multiple strands of personalist thought, demonstrating its breadth and depth and its ability to engage in wider contemporary philosophical and cultural debates.

Randall Auxier
University of Southern Illinois

Message from Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi for the 2019 International Conference on Persons

Section I – Encounters: Introduction
1. The Broken Dancers: Thomas Buford on suffering and trust
James McLachlan
Western Carolina University
2. The personalism of Czesław Stanisław Bartnik
Bogumił Gacka
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland
3. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X: On being, knowing, and the dignity of persons
Randall E. Auxier
University of Southern Illinois
4. Macmurray’s personalist approach to the philosophy of history
Robert DeVall Jr.
Independent Scholar

Section II – Paradigms: Introduction
5. From universalistic metaphysics to personalism as the first sectorial philosophy
Juan Manuel Burgos
Universidad CEU-San Pablo, Spain
6. Rethinking personalism: A speculative approach
Rocco Sacconaghi
De Paul University
7. A person in/against virtual reality
Ewa Smołka
The State School of Higher Education in Chełm, Poland
8. Death and the experience of photography: an existential consideration
Diana Prokofyeva
Electro-Technical University "LETI", St. Petersburg, Russia

Section III – Commitment: Introduction 169
9. How like a god: A Jewish conception of personhood
Eugene Korn
Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Jerusalem, Israel
10. Constructing a Hindu aesthetic notion of personhood
Ithamar Theodor
University of Haifa, Israel
11. The personalistic concept of catechesis
Peter Thomas Goliszek
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
12. Chalcedonian personalism and the concept of a “semblant”
Colin Patterson
Independent scholar

Section IV – Applications: Introduction
13. Personalism in the economy
Antoni Magdoń
University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland
14. The splendor of nature
Sławomir Gacka
Independent scholar
Stanisław Kolbusz
Independent scholar
15. Profits, power, or persons? Kant’s dignifying of labor
Daryl Hale
Western Carolina University
16. Who should be recognized as “persons”?
Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley
California State University

Author biographies

Diana Prokofyeva, an assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy at Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI," defended her thesis "The Dialectic of Estrangement and Engagement: Social-Philosophical Aspects" in February 2012 (Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russia). Her research interests are in existentialism, personalism, social philosophy, ethics, and axiology, Marxism, neo-Marxism, and critical theory, philosophy of education, cultural anthropology. She is the author of more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in two books ("The Search for Stability in Chaotic Times: Niccolo Machiavelli" [2018] in 'Catastrophe & Philosophy', edited by D. J. Rosner; "Education for Peace and Conflict Resolution" [2019] in 'War, Peace and Conflict Resolution', edited by Marek J. Celinski) and the author of the monograph 'The Dialectics of Estrangement and Engagement: Philosophical Understanding'. She is also a member of the American Institute for Philosophical and Cultural Thought (USA).

Colin Patterson, an independent scholar, was formerly on the faculty of the John Paul II Institute of Marriage and Family, Melbourne, Australia, having completed his STD (JPII Institute, Rome) with a thesis on the writings of Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre. His research and teaching interests centre around the theology of persons, the interface between theology and science, particularly psychology, and various themes in moral theology. As well as having published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, he has authored two books, 'Chalcedonian Personalism: Rethinking the Human' (2016) and 'Light on the Human Heart: Where Christian Faith and Psychology Meet' (2022).

Personalism, Philosophy of persons, Philosophy of the 20th century

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Person: Encounters, Paradigms, Commitment and Applications





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm

Publication date
July 2023