On Redemptor Hominis - An Introduction to the Life and Thought of St. John Paul II

John Hittinger, Ph.D.

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On Redemptor Hominis - An Introduction to the Life and Thought of St. John Paul II is now available for free at CatholicThinkers.org



 Click here to watch full the first lecture on our YouTube channel.

"Redemptor Hominis" is about Christ and the message of Mercy."

-John Hittinger in On Redemptor Hominis

Pope Saint John Paul II was one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.  A recent biographer has described him as one of the “freest” men who ever lived, having had a clear sense of his mission and role within his own particular moment in history from a very early age.  What animated this remarkable pope and saintly man?  This course  serves as an excellent introduction to the thought of Pope Saint John Paul II through a study of his first encyclical letter, Redemptor Hominis, “The Redeemer of Man.” It provides a context for understanding the encyclical, a section by section analysis, and explains how this encyclical--which Dr. Hittinger calls John Paull II's "Mission Statement"--provides a unique and important vantage point from which to understand the life and thought of this great pope.

Reading List


16 30-minute lectures

  1. Poland – The  Pope from a Distant Country
  2. Poetry and Theater – Beauty, a Profile of God
  3. Philosophy – A Noble Task
  4. Priesthood – Steward of the Mysteries of God
  5. Vatican II – A gift of the Spirit to the Church 
  6. What the New Pope Inherits
  7. Who is the Redeemer?  
  8. Divine and Human Dimensions of Redemption
  9. The Church’s Mission and Human Freedom
  10. Man is the Way of the Church
  11. The Twentieth Century: Progress or Regress?
  12. Do we have rights? Conscience and Religion
  13. Dynamic restlessness and man’s Supernatural destiny
  14. Prophet: Responsibility for Truth
  15. Mary and the New Evangelization  
  16. Conclusion: Anticipating the Achievements of His Pontificate