Biedny chrześcijanin patrzy na byt (główne napięcia i sprzeczności w poglądach teologicznych Miłosza)

Jacek Breczko


A Christian Miserable Regards Being (Main Tensions and Contradictions in Milosz’s Theological Views)


In this article, I try to present the theological views of Milosz (the late phase of his work), emphasizing various tensions and contradictions thereof. I begin with a general reflection on the contradictions in Milosz’s views and personality. Then I present the main arguments – set out in his poems and essays – for God’s existence (as well as doubts on this issue). I summarize some vision of God that appears in his works, occasionally as radically different as the Thomistic and neo-Platonic ones. I emphasize that the characteristic feature of Milosz’s theological reflection is his oscillation between the delightful and horrific view of the world. On the side of delight, it leads to the concept of “apokatastasis;” likewise, on the side of terror, it points the way to some version of Manichaeism (nature is then left to the “Emperor of the Earth,” as evidenced by the cruel laws of the “struggle for survival”). Milosz attempts to reconcile these two concepts (both bordering upon theological heresies), basing on “eschatological catastrophism,” which he combines with the original conception of theodicy. So with the vision of God, who sympathizes with the suffering of all animals and humans in history (“then the universe for him is like a Crucifixion”).

Keywords: Czeslaw Milosz, theology, God, Thomism, Manichaeism, apocatastasis, eschatological catastrophism.

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