At the end of World II, when the pall of Marxist ideology, and with it a climate of intellectual servitude, fell over most Polish universities, the Catholic University of Lublin was the only center of higher education in Poland where philosophy could be pursued freely. In the early 1950s, against backdrop of the experiences of the war and Stalinism, a group of professors in the Department of Christian Philosophy set themselves the task of rethinking the fundamental questions of philosophy in the context of historical, methodological, and systematic studies and, with an eye to the future, of presenting the fruits of their reflections to the Polish nation. This effort was supported by the Catholic Church, together with Primate Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski and the people of Poland. In those days, which were especially difficult for the humanities, many prominent Polish intellectuals held the Lublin School in high regard.
Prof. Mieczyslaw Albert Krapiec,OP, was born in 1921. He has been associated with the Catholic University of Lublin since 1947 and served as a rector of the University for thirteen years (1970-1983). Philosophically, Krapiec falls within the classical realistic tradition. His primary interests revolve around the basic questions of culture, examined from the point of view of metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, political philosophy, and philosophy of knowledge. He is the author of thirty books and close to three hundred articles. These works, together with his many years of teaching, have contributed to the intellectual formation of several generations of Poles. Krapiec is the principal founder of the Lublin School of Philosophy, which is attracting increasing attention in Western Europe and North America, where his books Metaphysics and I-Man are used as texts in colleges and universities. He is a recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto (1989) and the University of Leuven (1990). In 1992, Krapiec was named "Person of the Year" by the International Biographical Center in Cambridge, England, and by the American Biographical Institute in North Carolina.
The Foundation for the Lublin School of Christian Philosophy was established in June 1992. The members of the Foundation's governing board are Prof.dr hab. Piotr Jaroszynski (president), Dr Krzysztof Wroczynski (secretary), Jacek Debski, Henryk Dyrda and Przemyslaw Häuser. The Foundation was established at a ceremony in Promnice near Katowice in conujnction with the promotion of the works of the Lublin School. The event, which was attended by distinguished representatives of Polsih science, culture and politics, included an exhibition of the published works of the philosophers of the Catholic University of Lublin.
The purpose of the Foundation is to rebuild and foster learning and culture, based on Christian culture, the common heritage of Europe, in the context of the realistic approach to philosophy, whose roots reach back to antiquity, and also to assist in the development and promulgation of the works of the Lublin School. The founders of the Foundation share a deep conviction that the renewal of the Polish nation in its various aspects must take place through the renewal of culture.
To function as an autonomous institution of higher education, a university needs both a specific legal charter and adequate financial resources. Although the Catholic University of Lublin enjoys full legal autonomy today, it is still a long way from achieving full financial autonomy. The severe financial constraints under which the University must operate, though understandable given the current economic situation in Poland, make it extremely difficult for the University to support such activities as the publications of books and periodicals, the presentations of lecture series, the participation of professors in conferences in Poland and abroad, and the provision of stipends and scholarships for promising young scholars and students. Without such activities, the intellectual development of the young will surely suffer and the great potential of the Lublin School will be wasted. Such a tragedy, from the point of view of the welfare of Polish culture, would be unforgivable. The Foundation fort the Lublin School exists precisely to prevent this from happening. The Foundation is counting on the understanding and generosity of people who hold in their hearts a concern for future generations, for the fate of Poland rests in their hands.